How I laundered N2bn for Adoke’s co-defendant —Witness
Alhaji Farouk Suleiman a Prosecution Witness [PW] in the trial of former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke has, on Wednesday, narrated before the Federal High Court how he laundered $9,084,700 for one businessman, Aliyu Abubakar and his lawyer, A. U. Mustapha.
Alhaji Suleiman, a Bureau de Change (BDC) operator, said he received two billion Naira from Abubakar and converted them to dollars.
Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, Suleiman narrated how he was introduced to Abubakar in 2011 and some time in 2013 he asked him to convert the two billion Naira to dollars for him.
H e stated: “Sometime in 2013, the 2nd defendant told me about a business transaction.
“He handed me a number of cheques, totally N2b. He wanted me to source for dollars to exchange it.”
He added that the cheques were drawn in the name of a firm, Equal Access, which he lodged in Farsman Holding Limited’s account with Heritage Bank Plc.
Suleiman said he later went around fellow BDC operators to source for dollars equivalent of the sum which he later paid to Abubakar and Barrister A. U. Mustapha (who he said Abubakar instructed to collect the money from him) in cash on six occasions.
The witness, who gave a breakdown of how and when he handed the dollars to Abubakar and Mustapha, said both men signed the receipts he issued to them, acknowledging collecting the cash from him.
Sanga later tendered copies of the receipts, which the court admitted in evidence as :Exhbits PW4 A1 – A6.
Lawyer to Adoke, Paul Erokoro (SAN) did not cross-examine the witness when Suleiman concluded his evidence in chief.
Under cross examination by Abubakar’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the witness said the 2nd defendant’s name was not written on the cheques, but that he (Abubakar) handed the seven cheques, drawn in the name of Equal Access, to him.
The witness admitted that neither Abubakar nor Mustapha produced written document indicating that the lawyer was acting as his (Abubara’s agent.
He however said the second defendant told him to hand the money to the lawyer, who came to his office on five occasions to collect dollars in cash.
As against the suggestion by Ojo, the witness insisted that Abubakar signed one of the receipts (Exhibit Pw4 A6) acknowledging that he collected dollars in cash from Farsman Holdings Ltd.
Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned till September 11 for continuation of trial.