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N2.9bn Fraud: Contracts Awarded by Fintiri, Ex-Adamawa Gov, Not Approved –Witness

A prosecution witness, Ibrahim Welye, on June 7, 2017 told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that there were no approvals for contracts awarded by a former Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, for the electrification of Kirshinga village in Madagali Local Government area of the state.
Fintiri, who was brought before Justice A.R. Mohammed on June 30, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is standing trial alongside his company, Mayim Construction and Properties Limited on a five-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N2.9billion.
At today’s proceeding, Welye, a former Secretary to the Adamawa State government, revealed that the contract which cost about N75 million, had no approval.
“The Ministry of Finance released the sum of N75 million to the Ministry of Rural Infrastructure and Community Development for the execution of the project,” he said, noting that “there was no approval for the project.”
Welye had in a May 11, 2015 petition to the EFCC allege that Fintiri diverted N497 million for the construction of lecture hall for the Faculty of Law, Adamawa State University, Mubi, as he only laid the foundation and never completed the project.
When asked by Mahmud Magaji, SAN counsel for Fintiri, if he still stood by his petition, which he also sent a reminder to the EFCC dated November 18, 2015, Welye answered in the affirmative.
“My lord, I stand by the petition written against Ahmadu Fintiri,” he said.
Magaji thereafter took the witness through some exhibit which had to do with instruments showing inflow into the Zenith Bank account of Adamawa State Capital Project from Adamawa State University, Mubi dated June 3, 2014 captioned "Adamawa State University, Mubi signed by V.C Alkasum Abba, document for the release of N978,756,000”. He then asked if he still stood by his allegation.
Prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters, however, objected to the question, noting that “the documents contained in the exhibit are bank printouts, and the witness is not a banker and there is no affidavit by any banker in support of the document”.
“Under Section 90 (1) (e) of the Evidence Act, only a banker can speak to truth of these documents, and the witness, not being a banker should not be asked a question relating to bank statement,” he said.
Justice Mohammed has adjourned to September 19, 2017 for “continuation of hearing”

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