Tuesday, October 6, 2015 7:15 pm
The trial of Oladimeji Edun, a former member, Kwara State House of Assembly who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his Company, Zarab Ventures Limited, began on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 before Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the High Court of Kwara State sitting in Ilorin.
Edun, who was arraigned on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 is being prosecuted on a three-count charge bordering on criminal diversion of funds.
Opening its case today, counsel to EFCC, Farouk Abdallah presented two witnesses; Mohammed Goji and Hayatou Kojoli, both operatives of the Commission.
Goji, while being led in evidence by Abdallah, told the court that, sometime in 2013, the Commission received a petition jointly signed by Samuel Ogundele and one Sulaiman Yahayah.
“According to the petitioners, contracts for drilling of a total number of 43 boreholes were at various times awarded to the defendant to the tune of N82.5m under the Millennium Development Goals – Conditional Grant Scheme. But, the defendant abandoned the projects after collecting almost 90 percent of the contract sum adding that, efforts to get him back to site yielded no result”, said Goji.
The witness stated that, in the course of investigation, the defendant and officials of MDG in Kwara State, among others, were invited, and they volunteered statements under caution.
“My Lord, in his statement, the defendant admitted that, the contract was awarded to him, but could not fully execute the project because part of the contract sum was given to some State Officials”, Goji told the court.
Goji further stated that, the defendant named Demola Banu and Tunji Moronfoye who were both Finance and Information Commissioners respectively in Kwara State at the time of investigation as the officials who received the payments
Copy of the defendant’s statement as well as other documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Also testifying, Kojoli, told the court that, he obtained four statements under caution at different times from the accused person wherein he claimed that part of the contract sum were given to some government officials in the State as a result of which the job could not be completed.
Copies of the statements were also tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Justice Abdulgafar who apparently in line with the new practice direction wanted to adjourn for a day-to-day trial of the case however, was moved to issue a witness summons against Demola Banu, former Finance Commissioner upon a request by the prosecution who complained that Banu had bluntly refused to honour its invitation to testify in the matter having being named as one of the beneficiaries of the diverted funds.
The case has been adjourned to November 17 and 18, 2015 for continuation of hearing.