Two men, who allegedly cloned the official line of Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to defraud the State Government of N50 million, appeared before Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya of Igbosere High Court, Lagos on Tuesday.
The defendants – Rilwanu Jamiu and Balogun Oyewole – are standing trial on a three-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent document and impersonation.
The first prosecution witness, Mrs. Abimbola Umar, the State’s Accountant General, while testifying before the court, revealed how she received a text message from the suspects, on February 10, 2016.
She said that the text message, which seemed to be from Governor Ambode, directed her to transfer the sum of N50 million to a designated Keystone Bank account.
Umar, who was led in evidence by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adenijii Kazeem, said she found the message suspicious and highly irregular of the official accounting protocol.
“I decided to bring the message to the attention of the Governor, who, after distancing himself from it, ordered immediate investigation into the matter,” she said.
After Umar’s testimony, the prosecution called another witness, Mr Wale Odu, Director State Service, Lagos State Command, to give evidence in the case.
In his testimony, Odu said that the investigation leading to the arrest of the defendants was conducted by his team at the DSS.
According to him, the investigation revealed that the second defendant (Oyewole), was one of the directors and shareholders of a firm, Clayder Ltd, into whose Keystone Bank account the N50 million would have been paid.
After listening to the testimonies, Justice Ogunsanya adjourned the case until February 14 for continuation of trial, and ordered that the accused be remanded at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.