Wednesday, 23 March 2016

How Former Benue state governor Gabriel Suswam ordered diversion of funds to individuals.

Former Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswam.

A witness in the trial of the former governor of Benue state Gabriel Suswam on Tuesday, March 22, insisted that some private accounts received remittance from the Benue shares sales.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs had earlier told the court that Elixir Investment got instructions from Suswam to pay N1 billion into the account of Benue
Investment Properties Limited (BIPCL).

Jacobs said a balance of the remittance of the sale of shares was paid into the account of the Benue state government.

The witness, Aluyi Victor who is a portfolio manager the Elixir Securities and Investments told the court that at the point of payment, Elixir realized that among the
Benue state ministry of finance's accounts one of the accounts was owned by a private individual.

"We were told that it belonged to the ministry of finance project account and that we should go ahead and pay.

We discovered this at the point of payment, we carried out a Know Your Customer (KYC) on that account, and discovered that it belonged to a Bureau De Change," Victor said.

He had earlier told the court at the previous sitting that N1billion was paid into the account of BIPCL, N5.3 billion to Benue state ministry of finance' account and N3,111,008,018.51 was paid into the account of Famfash resources following a written instruction from BIPCL to Elixir Securities.

He also said that the instruction which was given verbally is part of the company records.

The witness said: "There are portfolio managers, but I do not know who it was at that time.

I became a portfolio manager in January 2015."

"Because of the market condition and volume of shares, the mandate allowed us to sell at not more than a 15% discount to the current market price, so as to be able to get the shares sold easily," he said.

Suswam and his commissioner of Finance Omodachi Okolobia are facing a nine-count charge bordering on money laundering, abuse of office and obtaining N3.1 billion by false pretense.

They were also alleged to have diverted proceeds from the sales of Benue state government and Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.

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