AN investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Solomon Okotie, has told a Federal High Court in Jos that 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, facing trial for allegedly embezzling N25 billion.
The EFCC investigator further told 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), the witness said the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), specifically wrote a letter approving the action plan and the award of contract.
The first prosecution witness 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 with the Zenith Bank.
According to Okotie, at the end of his investigation, he did not trace one naira from the contract money to any account belonging to Goje, any company or person related to him and added 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 Barrister Magellan Dedi had in his testimony told the Court 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
The anti-graft agency is specifically 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 N5 billion 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.
Other charges include, “That you Alhaji Danjuma Goje “M” former Executive Governor of Gombe State Nigeria sometimes between May 2003 and 2011 in Gombe within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court committed an offence to wit; converted N1,920,000,000 property of Gombe State and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 17 of the money laundering prohibition act 2004.
“That you Alhaji Danjuma Goje “M” former Executive Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Aliyu Ubadone El-Nafaty “M” former Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board Gombe and others, sometimes between May 2003 and 2011 in Gombe within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court committed an offence to wit; with an attempt to convert, conspired among yourselves and others to conceal or disguise the sum the sum of N830,725,685.82 property of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria which was, or in whole or in part, directly or indirectly represented proceeds of an illegal act contrary to section 17 of the money laundering prohibition act 2004”.