The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on May 16, 2018 presented its eighth witness in the trial of Abba Moro, former interior minister, over his role in the ill-fated recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, which claimed the lives of over 20 applicants in various centres across the country.
Moro, alongside one time permanent secretary in the ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia; a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami; one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited are being prosecuted on an 11-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and money laundering.
They were alleged to have defrauded a total of 675,675 Nigerian job applicants to the tune of N675,675,000 representing N1000 per applicant through e-payment for the online recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, an exercise which was carried out in a negligent manner leading to the death of about 20 applicants in 2013, when Moro was interior minister.
The witness, while testifying before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja identified himself as “Aliyu Sufian, a Bureau de Change operator”.
Led in evidence by Aliyu Yusuf, counsel to the EFCC, Sufian, who spoke through an interpreter, narrated the transaction between his company, Morrison International Bureau de Change, and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a company engaged by the Ministry of Interior for provision of online enlistment and e-recruitment service for the ill-fated recruitment exercise.
He stated that sometime in 2014, his account officer, gave him a letter of invitation from EFCC, which he honoured and volunteered his statement.
According to the witness, a staff of Keystone Bank, who he simply identified as “Biodun”, called to ask him on 11th November, 2013 if he had dollars and requested him to come to the Bank with it.
“I was in my office on the 11th of November 2013, when I got a call from an officer of Keystone Bank (Biodun) who asked if I had dollars.
I told him ‘I do’ and he said I should bring it to the bank”, Sufian said. Speaking further, he told the court that he provided his Keystone Bank account details and a sum of N33.7million was credited into the account twice same day”.
When asked to tell the court the account from which the said money was paid and amount he gave in exchange for the money, the PW8 said, “The money came from Dextel Tech Nigeria Ltd and I gave Biodun, the bank official, $641,000 in exchange”.
Under cross-examination by Moro’s counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, Sufian said he did not know the defendants. The case has been adjourned to July 4, 2018 for continuation of trial.