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Orji Kalu received no payment from Govt House Account-witness
Dr. Orki Uzor Kalu

Orji Kalu received no payment from Govt House Account-witness

A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Christiana Ohiri, yesterday told Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos that no payment was made to the former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, from Government House account.

The witness, who is a branch manager with the United Bank for Africa (UBA), in Abia State, made the revelation while testifying in the on-going trial of the former governor and two others over alleged fraud. Christiana’s submission corroborated what the first prosecution witness, Onovah Ogonevoh, who is also a banker, told the court while testifying that no payment was made to Kalu from Government House account between 2002 and 2005.

While being cross-examined by Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Gordy Uche (SAN), over a document containing information about 36 bank drafts issued by the Umuahia Branch of the bank, Christiana said no draft was either paid by Kalu or issued in his name. Responding to a question from the silk, the witness said: “The first defendant (Dr. Kalu) did not personally come to me to purchase any draft and his name was not included on any of the drafts. “The first defendant’s name or photograph also does not feature in the mandate cards of the sig natories to the Government House Account.”

The witness had earlier informed the court that: “Between September and October 2006, our head office contacted us at the UBA Umuahia branch requesting for some source documents about some transactions that were done earlier in the year.

“Some of the transactions were listed and we retrieved others from our archives and sent to Lagos. I did not know what the head office wants to do with the documents. “By 2007, I was invited by the EFCC and certain questions were asked about the documents my bank sent to the commission.

“I was invited to the EFCC four times in 2007 and I made three statements at the commission’s office.” The witness disagreed with Kalu’s lawyer, Uche, that the statements were contradictory and inconsistent.

“In my first statement, I confirmed to the EFCC that I was not the only one who signed those drafts. I also stated this fact in my second statement. “What I wrote in my last statement were things that I copied out from the drafts given to me by the EFCC I did not personally handle the transactions. The transactions were done by the operations manager and the supervisor.”

It was, however, revealed upon the cross examination of the witness that the 36 drafts which were purchased were not reflected in the Government House statement of account. Further hearing in the matter continues today

Source: New Telgrapgh

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