The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday at a Federal High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, arraigned George Turnah, former Special Adviser to Dan Abia, former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and his wife, Jennifer Turnah on a two- count charge bordering on non- disclosure of assets and false declaration of assets.
Specifically, they were docked for concealing information from the EFCC about two of their companies while filling their asset declaration forms. The companies are: Ashford Consult and Event Nigeria Limited.
Count one of the charge read: “That you George Alabh Turnah on or about the 15th day of March, 2017 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court knowingly made a false declaration that is failing to disclose your interest in Ashford Consult and Events Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (3)(a)(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes( Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3)(c) of the same Act.
Count two of the charge read: ” That you Jennifer Timinipre Turnah on or about the 25th day of September, 2017 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court knowingly made a false declaration of your interest in Ashford Consult and Events Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence to Section( 27)(3)(b) of the Economic And Financial Crimes( Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3)(c) of the same Act.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the two- count charges when they were read to them. In view of their pleas, Prosecution counsel, Arogha Ahmed prayed the court to remand them in prison custody, while the defense counsel, Amuda Kanike (SAN) prayed the court to grant his clients bail, assuring that the defendants will be available to face trial.
Justice Adamu Turaki granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N250million and two sureties in like sum . One of the sureties must have landed properties in Rivers State while the second surety must be a traditional ruler. Defendants must deposit their international passports with the court registry.
Justice Adamu Turaki adjourned the matter to 25 May and 26 May 2018 for trial and ordered that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody.
Turnah has been on trial on a 16-count amended charge bordering on money laundering, abuse of office and obtaining by false pretense the sum of N2.9 billion..