Witness tells court how Dasuki spent N1.4bn on prayer

An Abuja High Court was on Thursday told how a whooping sum of N1.4 billion security vote was spent on prayers following a directive from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Michael Adariku, gave this testimony while testifying in the trial of Col. Sambo Dasuki, erstwhile National Security Adviser (NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Dasuki, along Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director, and two others are standing trial on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N13.6 billion since 2015.

The First Prosecution Witness (PW1) in the matter, Adariku, told the court that the fund was diverted through a company owned by Baba-Kusa.

The said company, Acacia Holdings Ltd., according to Adariku, was credited with the sum from the accounts of ONSA purportedly for a national prayer to be organised for Nigeria.

The PW1, who was led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), explained that N650 million was transferred from ONSA’s Zenith Bank account to Acacia Holdings account with Ecobank for the purpose of the aclaimed prayer.

He added that following the response of Ecobank, that N650 million was transferred to various persons and companies as against the purpose for which it was disbursed.

Narrating further, Adariku said that on April 20, 2015, that N150 million was transferred to the account of Baba-Kusa, and that on April 22, another N70 million was transferred to one Jubril Abdullahi for purposes not indicated.

He also stated that an account to account transfer of N50 million was forwarded to the account of Baba-Kusa between May 4 and May 6, 2015.

Another N150 million transfer was made to a company, Medical Plastics Ltd, said to be owned by Baba-Kusa and his wife, Hauwa, who own 1.8 million shares in the company, the PW1 also said.

Adariku went on to tell the court that another N600 million was also transferred from ONSA’s account to Acacia on April 17, 2015.

Meanwhile, Dr Biodun Layonu (SAN, counsel to Acacia Holdings, raised an objection to the witness’ testimony. He argued that the documents involving the transactions were not clear in the copies that the prosecution served them.

His observation was noted by the trial judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, who instructed that the prosecution should make clearer copies available to the defendants before the next adjourned date.

The trial was subsequently adjourned until December 13 and December 14 for continuation.

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