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N3bn fraud: Oyo-Ita, others awarded contracts to own firms, EFCC Alleges

The eighth witness called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Hamma-Adama Bello, at the Federal High Court, on Tuesday, said former Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and others awarded contracts to companies they incorporated or had stakes in.

Oyo-Ita and others are standing trial on the allegations of fraud regarding duty tour allowance, estacodes, conference fees, and receiving kickbacks on contracts to the tune of N3bn.

Oyo-Ita was in March 2020 arraigned by the EFCC alongside her Special Assistant, Ubong Effiok, Frontline Ace Global Services Limited, Asanaya Projects Ltd, Garba Umar and his companies, Slopes International Ltd and Good Deal Investments Ltd.

Other defendants in the suit are U&U Global Services Ltd, belonging to Mr Effiok, and Prince Mega Logistics Ltd.

They all pleaded not guilty to the allegations levelled against them.

At the resumed proceedings on Tuesday, Bello, who is the Chief Superintendent of EFCC and the Head of Special Investigation Team, was fielded as the eighth prosecution witness.

Led in evidence by the EFCC’s lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, Bello said his team received intelligence from the office of the EFCC’s chairman sometime in 2019 while Oyo-Ita was still a permanent secretary.

“The intelligence bordered on the activities. The 1st defendant was the permanent secretary then, and other staff including Effiok, the 7th defendant.

“The team started the investigation. In the course of the investigation, we called for documents. The nature of the intelligence was such that the 1st and 7th defendants and a host of others were using their office to get contracts for companies they incorporated or had an interest in.”

The witness said the team invited Oyo-Ita and her Special Assistant, Effiok, having received analysed documents relating to the intelligence.

According to him, it was discovered that the 1st defendant was the beneficial owner of two companies: Frontline Ace Global Services Limited and Asanaya Projects Ltd.

Bello also told the court their investigation revealed that Oyo-Ita maintained two accounts in a new generation bank for Frontline Ace Global Services Limited.

“It was discovered that the 1st defendant severally sat as chairman, CEO of Frontline Ace Global Services Ltd where she issued both resolutions to open the said accounts, “he added.

The presiding judge, Justice James Omotosho, adjourned the matter till January 26 for the continuation of trial.

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