A prosecution witness, Jane Asuquo, on Wednesday told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that a former Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, used his wife, Ochuko, to launder $700 million belonging to the agency.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had on March 9 arraigned the ex-PPMC chief’s wife and five others on a 22-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
However, the charges had since been reduced to 13 by the prosecution.
Other defendants are – Blessing Azuka-Ngozi, Stanbic-IBTC Bank Plc, Energopol Nigeria Limited, Blaid Construction Limited, and Blaid Farms Limited.
Momoh, who was the 1st defendant in the new charges, was said to be at large.
At Wednesday’s proceeding, Asuquo, who is an Assistant Chief Investigative Officer with the ICPC, told Justice Taiwo Taiwo the act was perpetrated between 2012 and 2015 when Momoh was the PPMC managing director.
She said: “Sometime in 2015, ICPC received a petition about Haruna Momoh freezing PPMC of about $700 million.
“The petition was initially assigned to another team at that time which had Paul Bassey, James Udoh as members.”
When asked by the ICPC counsel, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, why the case was reassigned to her team, the witness added: “If the management is not satisfied by an investigation carried out by a team, it can reassign the case.”
She added that the case was reassigned to her team on July 19, 2018.
Asuquo added: “We went through the file to see what our colleagues had done.
“The team discovered that Mrs. Haruna had a number of companies which she used in connivance with her husband to defraud PPMC.
“After we gone through the file, we sent letters of invitation to 1st and 2nd defendant and requested for documents from financial institutions used, the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), FCTA and other companies registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, etc.
“We received responses to letters sent out such as statements of account, account opening documents and other relevant documents.”Ripples