Alleged N714m fraud: How ex-minister ignored Tenders Board – Witness

The trial of Tanimu Turaki, former Minister of Special Duties, resumed on Monday.

Turaki was charged with his special assistant, Sampson Okpetu and two companies – Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited.

They are facing a 16-count charge, bordering on fraud and misappropriation to the tune of N714,670,014.

The fifth prosecution witness, Vincent Odafe, continued his testimony before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He was cross-examined by defence counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN).

Odafe, ex-director of Finance and Administration in the ministry, denied being coerced into giving evidence against Turaki by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He said the minister’s approval ceiling was up to N1billion if he goes through the Ministerial Tenders Board but that Turaki shunned due process.

Under cross-examination by the third defence counsel, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, Odafe disclosed that he has so far refunded N35 million through the EFCC to the government.

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It was his share of N45million from an N80million contract in the ministry.

The judge adjourned until November 10, 2020 for continuation of trial.

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