Justice Mohammed Idris of Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, admitted as exhibits, some documents tendered in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Ude, on a 34- count charge bordering on money laundering.
At the hearing today, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, through Tunde Adeniyi David, Compliance Officer, Heritage Bank Plc, tendered some letters dated October 11, 2006, October 12, 2006 and October 13, 2006 respectively, which were written in response to enquiries by the EFCC.
The documents were admitted in evidence as exhibits D1 to D41.
David, who is the third prosecution witness, PW3, also told the court that as compliance officer, he was charged with the responsibility of responding to regulatory enquiries emanating from the bank as well as government agencies, including the EFCC, in respect of account documents and customers’ statements of accounts.
Giving further testimony, PW3 told the court that his bank received a letter from the EFCC requesting for the transaction schedule of payments in respect of the Abia Government House during the administration of the first accused, Kalu, which was provided accordingly.
PW3 also told the court that the Abia Government House account was opened during the era of Citizens Bank-( now Heritage Bank).
However, when the prosecution counsel, Jacobs, sought to tender the Abia Government House’s statement of account during the tenure of the first accused as exhibit, the defence counsel objected to its admissibility.
The defence counsels told the court that they did not have copies of the documents and prayed the court not admit them.
In response, the prosecution counsel apologized to the court for not serving the defense counsels before the proceedings and prayed that the matter be stood down for some time to enable him serve them.
The defence counsels, however, told the court that they needed time to go through the documents to enable them respond properly.
Justice Idris, in his ruling, stated that the documents could not be tendered as exhibits until they have been served on the defence counsel by the prosecution counsel.
The case was adjourned to tomorrow, April 13, 2017 for continuation of trial.