A defense witness in the ongoing N2.1billion money laundering trial of the Chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, Ngozika Ihuoma today March 9, admitted before a Federal High Court sitting in Maitama Abuja that he received over N45million from Maina, through his company, Crincad & Cari.
Ihuoma, DW1, has been under cross-examination since March 4, 2021. Under further cross-examination today by the prosecution counsel, M.S Abubakar, the witness admitted that a payment of over N30m was made into his company account on December 10, 2013, being a consultant to the Pension Reform Task Team. The witness further admitted that a transfer of N5m was made into his personal account while N10m was paid into his purported client account in Sterling bank.
Abubakar revealed that the witness was arrested at Union Bank Maitama branch alongside his lawyer around December 2013 in relation to the said money. The witness did not contradict the prosecuting counsel, admitted that he was arrested by the Police and detained at the metro station, Maitama Abuja and later transferred to a Police station in Ikoyi Lagos. He also admitted that he was arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Igbosere, Lagos in Suit Number Q/47/2013.
The witness, however, denied knowledge that the said N30m paid into his account was stolen from the coffers of National Crop Research Institute, but admitted receiving monies from Khalid the 1st defendant’s younger brother for different purposes.
The Court was also informed that the Witness, in the mold on an image launderer, had appeared on Focus Nigeria, a programme on AIT, sometime around November 2017 where he defended the activities of the 1st defendant. He was said to have vowed to accompany the 1st defendant if he was invited by the Senate or the EFCC. But Ihuoma told the Court that he did not show up at the EFCC to volunteer his statement contrary to his pronouncement on national television. The defense witness however denies involving himself in image laundering for Maina.
The matter was adjourned to March 10, 2021, for continuation of trial.
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