Contractor admits receiving N2.17bn from NSA for nothing

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Olugbenga Obadina, CEO, Almond Projects Ltd.

A contractor, Olugbenga Obadina, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for receiving payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser, (NSA) on November 28, 2015 without any contractual agreement, has told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the payment was made for no particular project.

He explained that the payment, which was made to his company, Almond Projects Limited, was neither meant for the installation of any power plant in Yobe State nor for any power project whatsoever in the state.

Obadina and his company, Almond Projects Limited, first and second defendants respectively, are being prosecuted by the EFCC on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, official corruption and money laundering to the tune of N2, 17,190,000 (Two Billion, Seventeen Million, One Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira).

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They allegedly received the payment from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) for doing nothing, neither was he scheduled to do anything on behalf of the federal government.

Under cross-examination based on Obadina’s evidence-in-chief, prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Buba asked the defendant to identify the project for which payments were made to his company.

Specifically, he was also asked to state if the payment was for the purpose of installing a power plant or any power project in Yobe State, to which he answered in the negative.

“My Lord, with reference to payments in the document that is written, particularly to the Almond project, no site was mentioned in all of the description. No location was mentioned in any of the descriptions my lord,” he said.

Prodded further by prosecution counsel to confirm if it would be right to say that no part of the payments was made for installation of solar or power plants in Yobe State, the defendant acquiesced, stating, “Yes, none of these payments was made for the installation of solar in the state.”

Citing the defendant’s extra- judicial statement, marked Exhibit GO1, 1-9, prosecution counsel pointed out that there was nowhere in the entirety of the defendant’s statement where he specifically mentioned a particular area in Yobe State where the project was to be executed.

The defendant contested the claim, saying that he mentioned a site outside Damataru, the state capital, but could not point to it in his statement when challenged by the prosecution counsel to do so.

There was no re-examination from the defence.

The trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba adjourned the matter till May 30 and 31, 2024 for continuation of trial.

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