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2 key witnesses die after giving evidence against fmr. Adamawa Govenor Nyako

Valentine Chinyem

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Two vital prosecution witnesses who gave evidence in the trial of former Adamawa Governor Murtala Nyako have died mysteriously.

Adekunle Odofin, a detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, made the startling revelation before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja today.

According to the detective, the two witnesses made “crucial statements” during the investigation into a N29billion fraud case.

Odofin told the court that the two persons were very vital to the prosecution of the case.

Nyako is being prosecuted by the Commission, alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba, on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29billion.

Five companies that allegedly served as conduit pipes for the illegal diversion of the funds – Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited, were equally charged before the court as the 5th to 9th defendants.

Testifying as the twentieth prosecution witness, Odofin, who started his testimony on June 23, 2018 and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence, told the court on November 26, 2018, that one Mohammad Maj Iro, who was the General Manager, Zenith Bank Plc, the Regional Manager in charge of North-East, and the Account Officer of Adamawa State 200 accounts, domiciled in Zenith bank, died after making “crucial statements”, at the time of filing the case in the court.

While being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, on November 27, 2018, the detective told the court that the Commission also extended invitation to one Dalhatu Abdulmalik, who was the cousin to Nyako.

The commission invited the Director of Ameak Investment Limited, Kirkelly Investment Limited and Pilkola Engineering Limited, who also died after giving his statement.

Odofin said Mohammad Maj Iro pulled out over N800million from the Adamawa State account, and credited it to Crust Energy Limited, the 9th defendant in the case, taking orders from Nyako.

Odofin explained that the pattern of two accounts belonging to the State (Special Service Department, SSD, and Secretary to the State Government, SSG) drew the attention of the EFCC.

According to him, “the behaviour of these accounts, showed how money was being withdrawn in multiples of Ten Million Naira on different dates, running into billions of naira, by late Mohammad Maj Iro”.

“The question is, why did Maj Iro withdraw money from Adamawa State account, without being a staff of the state government?

Investigations revealed that memos were originated from permanent secretaries of the SSD, Mohammed Ibrahim Jidado and that of the SSG, Emmanuel Ibrahim.

“Having generated these memos, same were forwarded to SSG for transmission to the number one citizen of the State, the governor. Upon the approval of these memos, same came back to the SSG”.

He explained that vouchers were raised after the approval of the memos, in the name of the Permanent Secretary, the Accountant and cashier as the same and now taken to Maj Iro.

“Ha