A witness for Abdulrasheed Maina former Chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team, ended up today as ‘all talk, no substance’.
The witness (DW1) Ngozika Ihuoma, who claims to be a management consultant and politician, has been in the witness box for four consecutive court sessions.
He claimed before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja that Maina as chair of PRTT made recovery of humongous sums.
Led in evidence by Olawale Abiola, counsel to Maina, Ihuoma regaled the Court with tales of recovery recorded by Maina.
According to him, the defendant through the PRTT was able to recover N282bn in 18 months and also recovered properties valued at N1.6tn, adding that N75bn of the recovery was used to finance the 2012 budget.
He accused former chairmen of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and his predecessor Ibrahim Lamorde of mismanaging the assets purportedly recovered by the 1st defendant.
“I stand by the fact that EFCC mismanaged both cash and assets recovered by the team”.
He specifically claimed that Magu-led EFCC sold some of the recovered assets to cronies, friends and family, adding that a particular property on Gana Street Maitama was sold to Femi Falana at an undervalued price of N1.2bn.
However, under cross-examined by the prosecution counsel, M.S Abubakar, Ihuoma admitted that there were no documents before the Court to support some of his earlier claims.
The witness revealed that he has never worked with the EFCC, neither is he familiar with the workings of the organization.
Ihuoma also said he has not tendered any report or proceedings of the Justice Ayo Salami panel.
Contrary to his earlier claims that 222 properties were mismanaged, the witness admitted that he has not submitted the list of the said properties to Court, neither does he have any documents to prove the value of the said properties.
The witness further admitted that he was never an elected National Assembly member, nor was he ever a Senator; but a consultant to the Senate Committee on Local Government Administration.
Meanwhile, attempt by Maina to tender some documents, including requisition letters for ICT items and biometric equipment, staff expenses (PRTT & Staff of the Office of Head of Service, OHoSF) memos, amongst others, was refused by Court following opposition by the prosecution.
Abubakar urged the court to reject the documents as they were not original and also not certified.
The case has been adjourned till 9 March 2021 for continuation of cross-examination.