Andrew Orolua, Abuja.
Former Governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim, has said he did not use anybody as proxy to acquire a N270million property located at Asokoro District ,Abuja, for which he is standing trial.
Ohakim stated this on Wednesday while testifying as defence witness one (Dw1), yesterday at the resumed trial of the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja while testifying as defence witness one.
The defendant, who was led in evidence in chief by his lawyer, Prof Awa Kalu, (SAN), denied using one Abu Sule, ( a prosecution witness) as proxy to acquire a N270million home in Abuja.
“I never used anyone as proxy to acquire a property; I never pressured him to buy a property for me in his (witness) name and I did not provide him with any cash” Ohakim told the court.
Sule, the Managing Director, Tweeenex Consociate H.D, had in his testimony during the trial of Ohakim on charges of money laundering and false assets declaration, testified that after he sold the property to the defendant, the defendant asked him to issue rent receipt to him (Ohakim).
The prosecution witness had told the court that the defendant had in 2012, requested his company to find a house for him to buy which they eventually got one at No. 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Asokoro, Abuja.
He told the court that the property was valued at $2.29 million which was about N270million as at that time.
But Ohakim, who denied the allegations yesterday said, ” I did not engage in any dollar transaction with anyone to purchase properties for me.
” There was no point in time that I invited any Sule to my residence and I never gave out money to him in Ghana must go bags. I never conspired with anybody to steal or launder money for me, ” he added.
The former Imo State governor who also denied concealing information about his assets in his assets declaration form, said his assets declaration forms as at the time he filled them were properly documented.
He said, “I did not hide any information, I did not conceal any of my properties in the course of filing my assets declaration forms; I couldn’t have declare properties which do not belong to me”.
Meanwhile, the prosecuting lawyer, Mr Festus Okpe, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him prepare adequately to cross examine the witness.
The court in granting his request, adjourned the matter to October 23 and 25, 2017 for continuation.
The Daily Times recalls that the EFCC is prosecuting Ohakim, who served as Imo State governor between 2007 and 2011, on a three-count charge of money laundering and false assets declaration.
He is also accused of purchasing a property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, Abuja, with a cash payment of $2.29million, which was said to be the dollar equivalent of N270 million, in November, 2008.
The former governor was also accused of failing to declare the property as part of his assets when the EFCC asked him to do so.