One prosecution witness, Edward Bananda, stated he could not remember if the defendants made withdrawals from the state’s account. Ali Bello is alleged to be the cousin of Kogi State’s former governor, Yahaya Bello.
Bell and Dauda are facing ten counts of misappropriation and money laundering before a Federal High Court in Abuja. The charges are brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC.
Bananda, the second prosecution witness, was cross-examined by attorneys for the defendants, A. M. Aliyu (SAN) and Nureini Jimoh (SAN), on Monday when the hearings resumed.
Jimoh, Suleiman’s attorney, gave him three statements of state-owned accounts during his interrogation and asked him to remember whether the defendants had made any withdrawals.
Bananda informed the court that he was unable to remember if the defendants had taken money out of the accounts, despite having previously stated that the majority of the withdrawals were made by Kogi State House cashier Hudu Abdusalam.
The witness stated that he was unable to distinguish Hudu Abdusalam between the two defendants when questioned.
The witness observed that the majority of the inflows were security funds that belonged to the Kogi State Government after being shown many pages of the account statements by Jimoh.
He claimed that none of the withdrawals shown in the account statements went over the N10 million maximum cash withdrawal allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, or CBN.
The witness read from one of the account statements and stated that N50 million was received on May 24, N100 million on May 27, N50 million on May 31, and N50 million on July 3.
The witness who claimed that all of the inflows were security funds also mentioned that the money was taken out in N10 million increments.
Bananda said he was unsure when Jimoh told the witness that the money was intended for Kogi State security.
The witness claimed during Aliyu’s cross-examination, speaking on behalf of Bello, that one of the accounts belonged to the Kogi State Government House Administration.
According to Bananda, the Kogi State Government owns the funds in the account, and it has signatures and names on it.
Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), the prosecutor, stated at the end of the cross-examination that he planned to call one more witness.
Justice James Omotosho, the trial judge, postponed the trial until February 6 in order to continue it.