A witness, Mr. Abu Sule, told a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday that he collected the sum of $2.29m cash in a Ghana-Must-Go bag from a former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, to help the former governor to buy a property in highbrow Asokoro, Abuja.
Sule, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s second prosecution witness in Ohakim’s ongoing trial, said this while he was being cross-examined by the former governor’s lead counsel, Awa Kalu (SAN).
The witness said he collected the $2.29m from Ohakim in $100 bills at night sometimes in November 2008 and handed it over to the then owner of the property, Alhaji Isah Maidabino, the next day.
The witness, an architect and Managing Director of Tweenex Consociates H.D Ltd, said he kept the money in the boot of his car overnight before handing it over to Maidabino, now a director in the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
The EFCC is prosecuting Ohakim who was Imo State Governor between 2007 and 2011 on three counts of money laundering.
The charges arose from his alleged purchase of the property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral ZoneA04, Asokoro District, Abuja with cash payment of $2.29 which was said to be dollar equivalent of N270m in November 2008.
Ohakim was also accused of failing to declare the property as part of his assets when asked by the EFCC to do so.
The prosecution said the offences bordering on cash payment of N270m violated section 15(1)(d) and section 14(1)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
Sule had earlier in his evidence-in-chief, narrated how he allegedly helped Ohakim to buy and conceal the former governor’s ownership of the property.
The witness had told Justice Adeniyi Ademola, that the former governor instructed him to use his (Sule’s) company, Tweenex Consociates H.D Ltd, to buy the property.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the witness said Ohakim subsequently put pressure on him to prepare a tenancy agreement with Tweenex as the landlord to make it look as if he (Ohakim) was a tenant in the property.