Home Top Stories Ex-Gov. Suswam paid N3.11bn into my account – Witness tells court

Ex-Gov. Suswam paid N3.11bn into my account – Witness tells court


Abuja   –   Abubakar Umar, a bureau de change operator and EFCC prosecution witness, on Thursday told Federal High Court in Abuja that former Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue instructed that N3.11 billion be paid into his bank account.

Umar, who was being led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said Suswam used to bring foreign currencies for him to change in 2014.

“In Aug. 2014, I was in my office when Suswam called me on a mobile phone with number 08180505050. My phone number that he called is 08062666661.

“He said that I should come and meet him in his Maitama residence and I went to the house and he connected me with one woman.

“He told me to give her my account number that they would deposit money into my account”, Umar said.

The witness said N413million was first deposited into his account for the purpose of exchanging it into dollars on behalf of the defendant (Suswam).

“In Aug. 2014, Suswam asked me to change the money into dollars and bring it to Government House and that was not the only money that was sent to my account.

“ Money was sent into my company`s account (Famfash Limited) six times; on Sept. 12, 2014, N633million was paid into my account, after two hours, N637million was paid.

He further said that N1billion was also paid into the account.

“On Oct. 13, 2014, N630 million was paid into my account, after one hour, N8.16million was transferred into my account.

“In Oct. 17, 2014, the sum of N1.68billion was paid into my account and all the lodgments were made on the directive that I should convert the money into dollars for Suswam.

“ The total sum of the monies was N3.111 billion”, he said.

The witness said that the exchange rate as at the time was N197 per $1 and the dollar equivalent of the total sum of the money was $15.8 million US dollars and “I sent the dollars to Government House.”

However, a mild drama ensued when the witness made a contradictory statement that he stated in his statement at the EFCC that he handed over the money to Suswam in person.

The witness, however, told the court that he took the money to Suswam House and in another breath, said he took the money to Government House, Makurdi.

In view of the development, the EFCC counsel prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable him to put his house in order.

“My lord, it is very difficult to handle corruption cases, we want to gather more evidence and this witness has not been declared as a hostile witness.

“ The manner in which the defendant is asking for our witness to be protected raises serious suspicion on our part and my lord, I pray that a day should not come where an innocent soul will be convicted for an offence he/she knew nothing about”, he said.

Counsel to Suswam, Joseph Daudu (SAN), urged the court to refuse the oral application for adjournment made by the EFCC lawyer, saying that it could delay the trial.

In his ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, granted the application for adjournment, saying that the application was harmless and the prosecution was at liberty to put their house in order when there was a special need.

Mohammed, therefore, adjourned the case till May 9 and 10 for continuation of hearing (NAN).

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