Turaki’s N714m fraud trial: I’m not aware of award contract signed by Perm Sec – Witness

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The trial of a former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Tanimu Kabiru Turaki continued before Justice Inyang Ekwo of Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday, January 18, 2021, with the prosecution presenting its seventh witness, Mohammed Gambo Muazu, a retiree and former Director Procurement in the Ministry of Special Duties.

Muazu who was led in evidence by Abubakar Uba Ringim told the court that he was not aware of any circumstance that will warrant a Permanent Secretary to sign an award letter when there is a Director Procurement.

When he was presented with an award letter purportedly signed by the Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Special duties who is now late, he stated that, “I don’t know anything about it and I am just seeing it for the first time”

Muazu further told the court that “sometime in 2014, an intervention project was brought to the Ministry of Special Duties to execute.
“It was agreed that some contracts will be given to members of the Ministry to execute,

“The contract was prequalified and over 5000 companies applied, applications were forwarded to the Census Board for approval and award letters were given to the companies that won the contracts for execution thereafter”.

He further told the court that he was introduced to one Abdulrahman Yusuf, a bureau de change operator, by the then Permanent Secretary, Taiye Haruna and it was through Yusuf that some of the profit gotten from the contracts was changed to Dollars and then given to the then Permanent Secretary.

During cross examination by Joe Kyari Gadzama,SAN, the witness told the court that he did not know if the defendant had refunded any money to the Federal government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting Turaki, alongside his special assistant, Sampson Okpetu and two companies: Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited on a 16-count charge, bordering on fraud and misappropriation to the tune of N714,670,014.87 (Seven Hundred and Fourteen Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Fourteen Naira, Eighty- seven Kobo).

The trial has been adjourned to January 19, 2021 for continuation of trial.

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