Ramalan Yero
Ramalan Yero

Diezani largesse: How ex-Kaduna Gov Yero collected N700m cash, by EFCC witness

NEWS DIGEST – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday presented their first witness in the resumed trial of a former Governor of Kaduna State, Muktar Ramalan-Yero, before Justice Z.B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna.

Recall that on November 28, 2018, the EFCC had arraigned Mr Yero over his involvement in the ‘sharing’ of N700million provided by former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

The EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Thursday, said the prosecuting counsel, Nasiru Salele, led in evidence the first prosecuting witness PW1, Jonah Abimaje.

According to the statement, the PW1 was the Head of Operations at Ahmadu Bello branch Kaduna, and acting regional Head of Operations, Ali Akilu branch of a new generation bank in 2015.

Narrating, the witness disclosed how monies received by the bank from the Central Bank of Nigeria were collected by the defendants.

The witness said: “On the 26th March, 2015 I got a mail from Mr. Martins Izuoge, a Divisional Head of Operations, followed by a phone call, informing me of a payment of N700m and the identities of the beneficiaries.

“At about 5pm, Mr Abubakar Gaiya Haruna and Mr. Nuhu Somo Waya came to collect the money. I asked them to come when the money was available for collection because my team was still at the CBN.

“When the money finally arrived around 8pm, we arranged the money at cash loading area at our regional branch, Ali Akilu. I then called the 2nd and 4th defendants to sign a cash collection form as evidence of collection which they did.

“The cash was confirmed by the 2nd and 4th defendant. They loaded the money into sacks and departed the bank at about 11pm. The signed collection form was dispatched to Lagos alongside the identity cards of the collectors”

The witness said the money did not pass through any personal account; it was simply paid in cash.

The case has been adjourned till February 23, 2021 at the instance of the prosecution to enable them bring the forms mentioned by PW1.