By MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja
An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Solomon Okotie has told a Federal High Court sitting in Jos his investigation revealed that no money from the award of contracts in Gombe State could be traced to the account of the immediate past Governor, Senator Danjuma Goje.
Okotie, who is the Prosecution Witness 1 (PW1), made the revelation at the resumed trial of Goje who is being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly embezzling N25 billion.
The EFCC investigator further informed the court that due process was followed in the award of contracts in Gombe State during Goje’s tenure as governor.
Under cross examination from Counsel to Goje Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Okotie stated that “with specific reference to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) there is a letter from the Commission that it approved the action plan and to award of contract.
PW1 also admitted that having obtained the contractor’s bank statement and studied same and confirmed that the monies covered by the vouchers went into the account of the contractor Real and Integrated Hospitality Company which is Zenith Bank.
Okotie also stated that at the end of his investigation, he did not trace one naira from the contract money to any account belonging to the former Governor, His Excellency Danjuma Goje, any company or person related to him.
He declared that the contracts for which the former Governor is standing trial were fully executed.
The second Prosecution Witness who is the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary in the Gombe State Ministry of Justice Bar. Magellan Dedi had in his testimony told the Court presided over by Justice B.O Quadiri that he was informed by the State’s Universal Basic Education Board officials that due process was followed in the award of the contract and that he was made to understand that the former Attorney-General received instruction from the 1st defendant (Goje) to terminate the contract for non-performance within the stipulated time of three months.
Specifically, the EFCC is prosecuting Goje over allegations that he conspired with others sometime between May 2003 and May 2001 in Gombe to conceal or disguise the sum of N5billion property of Gombe State Government which was, or in whole or part, directly represented proceeds of an illegal act contrary to Section 17 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004.