Prisons Accountant Esu-Nte Steals N83m, Acquires Exotic Cars and Property
The trial of Imaobong Akon Esu-Nte, Head, Capital Accounts Unit, Nigeria Prison Service commenced yesterday 17 March 2015 before Justice Adegbola Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo, Abuja.
Esu-Nte, who was first arraigned on November 14, 2014, is alleged to have abused her office by stealing over N83million of Prisons funds with which she acquired exotic cars and property across the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. She had then pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail.
According to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in a press release, the prosecution witness Sini Omar John, a Superintendent of Police with the EFCC, told the court yesterday that between 2008 and 2011 Esun-Nte incorporated five companies namely Abasiaga Global Resources, Abasiono Nigeria Limited, Ememima Global Ventures Limited, ID Integrated Petroleum Product Limited and Darima Properties.
He noted that in November 2011, she awarded Abasiaga Global Resources Limited a contract to the tune of N14,000,000( Fourteen Million Naira).
“She also awarded ID Integrated a contract worth N55 million and many more. After the investigation, the accused was invited and was showed the facts of the case. She then explained her own side of the story. She admitted to all the facts thereafter and wrote a statement with the word of caution written on it,” he added.
The defence counsel, Titus O. Ashaolu, SAN, questioned the admissibility of the documents containing the contracts as awarded by the Nigeria Prisons, which the prosecuting counsel had tendered in evidence.
Citing Section 104 (1) of the Evidence Act, Ashaolu argued: ‘‘My Lord, these documents are not certified. For a public document to be admissible, it must have the following: date, signature, designation of the person issuing it and a prescribed fee as stated in Section 104 of the Evidence Act’’.
But EFCC counsel Larrys Peters urged the court to discountenance Ashaolu’s argument, maintaining that ‘‘the documents are duly certified.’’
After listening to counsel, Justice Adeniyi ruled that the document should be admitted in evidence, and marked P1a-P1q. The matter has been adjourned to 30 April 2015.
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