Alleged 1.3Bn NSITF Fraud: EFCC Presents First Witness

Former Chairman, NSITF, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has presented its first witness in the trial of former Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme.

The prosecution witness, Salihu Dantsoho Sadiq, a Bureau de Change operator, was, on Monday, 8 November, presented before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi, Abuja.

TheFact Nigeria reports that Olejeme, who was first arraigned on October 21, is facing a nine count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering, to the tune of over one billion Naira.

During the resumed hearing today, Sadiq narrated how he met Henry Sambo, an employee of the NSITF who approached him sometime in 2014 at a First Bank branch in Abuja, and requested for foreign exchange.

According to Sadiq, Sambo transferred the money into his account the same day the transaction started, which “involved hundreds of millions in about eight to ten tranches”. Sadiq said that Sambo did not know his office, “but he normally sent his driver for the transaction”.

Under cross-examination, the defence counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, asked the witness if he knew the defendant, and what the dollars were requested for, to which Sadiq answered in the negative, adding that Sambo did not tell him the purpose.

On whether the transaction followed CBN guidelines for forex, whe witness answered in the affirmative.

Earlier, prosecuting counsel, Odiase told the court that the prosecution had pre-trial with six witnesses who were expected in court to testify today but, because of the fire incident at Kubwa which involved some of their relatives, only one of them made it to court.

He therefore requested the court for a short adjournment to enable the prosecution to present the other witnesses.

Justice Aliyu then adjourned the matter till November 29, 2021 for continuation of trial.

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