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Former Perm Sec Accused Of Fraud Denies Knowledge Of Accounts

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A former permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Clement Iloh, on Friday, told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja that he cannot remember the number of bank accounts that he has.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Iloh before the court on October 16, 2017, on a three count charge of stealing by converting property in the sum of N14 million belonging to the federal government to personal use.

The defendant allegedly supervised numerous programmes such as the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P and awarded fictitious contracts to himself using his personal company and friends.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The former permanent secretary, while being cross-examine by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, denied collecting various funds from contractors and other sources through his late special assistant.

When he was confronted with a certified true copy of the statement of his personal account with ASO Savings and Loans Plc., which he identified as his, he claimed that he does not know the source of the N8million which was transferred to the account on the July 16, 2014. He claimed to have closed the account.

He was also not able to explain the source of the N50 million moved in tranches of N10 million each from the said account. As well as explain the source of other monies found in the account totaling N100 million received in his account on December 20, 2013, in tranches of N20 million and another N100 million received in his account on February 17, 2014.

The defense council, Uwana, in response to the list of monies received in the said account, objected to the line of questioning. He accused the prosecution of asking questions not related to the charge before the court. He also argued that his opposing counsel should not have raised the issue of a forfeiture case resolved at the Federal High court in suit number FHC/L/1128/2017 when trying to use affidavit evidence sworn to and signed by John Tsako, the late special assistant to his client.

After listening to the lawyers, the judge admitted the evidence in contention and adjourned the matter to December 11, for continuation of trial.





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