July 14, 2024

Alleged $6bn fraud: Witness exposes ex-minister, Agunloye’s suspicious payments


A prosecuting witness in the trial of former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, has disclosed how multiple transfers were made in favour of Agunloye by Jide Sotirin, a staff of Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd.

Agunloye is facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on seven-count charges bordering on official corruption and fraudulent award of Mambila Power Project contract to the tune of $6 billion.

He was arraigned before Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja.

The EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, in a statement, said the witness, Adebayo Ilori, a compliance officer with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, while being led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed, narrated: “Sometimes in October 2022, the bank received a letter from EFCC requesting for some information on the account opening package, statement of account and certificate of identification on two customers, Olu Agunloye and Jide Sotirin.

“Upon receiving the letter, Wale Agunbiade, head of the Unit went ahead to generate the statement of account from the computer system of the bank.

“Upon receiving the account opening package and statement of account, we compared the information generated because the statement of account was generated from the bank’s application by imputing the customer’s details on the computer system and all the parameters requested, which was then printed out. Then the bank compared what was printed and what was on the system to ascertain the accuracy of documents.

“The bank further prepared a covering letter and certificate of identification with the requested documents, which was signed by Wale Agunbiade, and then dispatched to the EFCC.”

When shown the acknowledgment copy of the said documents from the EFCC and GTB’s response by prosecution counsel, the witness confirmed that they were genuine, following which they were admitted by the court as exhibits.

Further in his testimony, the witness stated that Sotirin was the signatory to the account from which he transferred a total sum of N5, 221,000 (Five Million, Two Hundred and Twenty-one Thousand) to Agunloye, allegedly in relation to the Mambila Power Project contract award.

The witness established that Sotirin on August 10, 2019, transferred the sum of N3,600,000 from his account to Agunloye. On October 22, 2019, he transferred N500,000 to Agunloye and equally did so on November 13, 2019 to the tune of N1,121,000.

“On exhibit EFCC (1b), the name of the account holder is Agunloye Olu and it is a naira account. On 10 August 2019, there was a transfer credit of N3,600,000 from Sotirin Jide Abiodun in favour of Agunloye Olu. Also on 22 October 2019, there was a credit transfer of N500,000 from Sotirin Jide Abiodun to Olu Agunloye and on 13 Nov 2019, there was a credit transfer of N1,121,000 from Jide Sotirin Abiodun to Agunloye Olu,” the witness stated.

The matter was adjourned till June 11, 2024 for cross-examination.



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