A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Chidi Eboigbe, has told a High Court Of the Federal Capital Territory, that payments were made into the account of Rholavision Engineering Company with Ecobank by individuals and corporate bodies.
He however, said he does not know the purpose of the payments.
Rholavision is one of the defendants charged along with the former secretary to the government of the federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal.
While under further cross examination by Mr Marcel Oru, SAN, counsel to Rholavision company, the witness told Justice Charles Agbaza, that he became aware of Babachir Lawal’s appointment as SGF in 2015.
Answering another question, the Ecobank staff admitted that he never managed the accounts of the engineering firm but is only familiar with it as to the level of customer of the bank as a compliance officer.
“I am aware that several payments were made into the company’s account and these include N15.3million deposit made on December 30, 2009 and another N10.6 million deposited into the account on January 4, 2010.
“However, I do not know the purpose of the payments.”
“In March 2016, other limited companies also made payments into account of Rholavision Engineering Limited, which is the fifth defendant.”
Rholavision Engineering Company was said to have been engaged for the clearing of invasive plant species on Yobe Rivers by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) which led to filing of criminal charges against Babachir Lawal and others by EFCC.
The witness told the court that Babachir Lawal from the record of the bank ceased to be a director and signatory to the company account on October 28, 2015.
He informed the court that documents received by his bank indicated that the former SGF was removed as a director and signatory to the company’s account shortly after his appointment as SGF.
Answering a question from Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel to Babachir Lawal, the EFCC witness admitted that the sum of N269.864m was in the account of Rholavision between January 1, 2007 and May 4,2012, adding that at the material time, the company was doing well.
The witness further told the court that the bank has a duty and obligation to report any suspicious transactions to law enforcement agents as required by law but that in the transactions of Rholavision with Ecobank, there was nothing like criminal activities, hence the bank did not report anything of such to the authorities.
He specifically stated that there was nowhere in the statement of account of Rholavision with Ecobank that showed that the former SGF carried out any transaction for the company.
Meanwhile, the judge has adjourned further hearing in the case to January 13, 2022.
Babachir Lawal alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited are being prosecuted by EFCC before Justice Charles Agbaza, sitting in Jabi, Abuja.