Court told how Bankole awarded contracts to fake companies

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dimeji_bankoleA Federal High Court in Abuja has been told that the House of Representatives, under the leadership of former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, awarded contracts to companies with fake addresses.

The trial judge, Justice Elvis Chukwu, also heard that some of those companies’ addresses that got contract from the leadership of the House were not genuine.

The former Speaker is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged offences bordering on abuse of process in contract award and abuse of office.

During the proceedings, a witness, Ibrahim Ahmed, told the court that he was part of the team that investigated a petition written against Bankole in 2010 by a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye.

Led in evidence by lead prosecution lawyer, Festus Keyamo, Ahmed told the court that upon his team’s receipt of the petition, it swung into action by obtaining documents relating to the 2008 capital budget.

He said his team also wrote to the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), seeking details of the releases to the National Assembly.

“From the documents given to us, we identified the names and addresses of the contractors.

“We did a physical verification of those addresses and discovered that some of these addresses never existed or the contractors’ offices were never located there.

“With this discovery, we wrote to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and requested for the corporate status of the companies. Details of the companies were given to us.

“We wrote invitation letters, based on the details we got from the CAC, inviting the Managing Directors of these companies.

“After sometime, those letters were returned to us undelivered and we were informed that some of these addresses do not exist. We were further informed that the letters were dispatched by Universal Parcel Services (UPS) and the reason they gave was that these letters were never received because the addresses never existed,” Ahmed said. When shown copies of the undelivered letters by Keyamo, the witness identified them, following which the prosecution tendered the about nine letters in exhibit.

The trial has been adjourned to June 12, 2013.

 

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