The counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos of his intention to close the commission’s case in the trial of a former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others over alleged fraud.
According to Jacobs, however, he will like to carry out a thorough examination of everything that has been done by the prosecution to prove its case against the accused persons before closing his case.
He said: “My Lord, I ought to have closed my case today but I want to plead that the court give me a day to look into all that we have presented so far in proving our case against the defendants before doing so.”
The EFCC is prosecuting Kalu, his erstwhile Commissioner for Finance, Udeh Jones Udeogu, and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited on an amended 34-count charge of N3.2 billion fraud.
They were said to have used the following banks to perpetrate the alleged fraud: Manny Bank, Spring Bank Plc,( now Heritage Bank), the defunct Standard Trust Bank, now United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and FIN Land Bank, now First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
Earlier, the prosecution has called its last witness in the matter. The witness, Nonye Eghene, a compliance officer with Diamond Bank Plc, tendered a document containing the statement of accounts of one of the defendants, Slok Nigeria Limited, in the bank.
The witness, who was summoned by the court to appear in the matter said the transactions on the firm’s statement of accounts were carried out before she joined the bank in 2008.
Under cross-examination by Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Gordy Uche (SAN), the witness denied knowledge of a facility to the tune of $10 million from US Exim Bank to Slok Nigeria Limited, which was guaranteed by Diamond Bank Plc.
She was later asked by the lawyer to read out a letter from Diamond Bank to the EFCC which contained details of the transaction. The witness also read out narratives of transactions carried out in the Slok’s loan account with Diamond Bank which indicated how the facility among others guaranteed by the bank were being returned.
The witness later admitted that Slok Nigeria Limited is a high network customer of Diamond Bank.
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to April 16 by the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris.