An EFCC detective, Mr Abdulrazak Salawa, told a High Court in Jos that the Provost, Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (FSMLT), Jos, Dr. Nkereuwem Sunday-Etukudo and four others siphoned N359 million through award of contracts.Sunday-Etukudo and Messers Yusuf Samuel (Accountant), Ernest Demtoe (Secretary of Tenders Board), Goodluck Echewa and Asio Udoh (both contractors of the school) were charged by the EFCC with 15 counts of conspiracy and diversion of the school funds to the tune of N359 Million between 2008 and 2013.
Testifying before Justice Daniel Longji of High Court V, Salawa, said: ”My Lord, My investigations revealed that on Dec. 10, 2008, Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (FSMLT), paid in N24.3 million First Bank account of Yahusa Associate Ltd, but on Dec. 16, 2008, N10 million was transferred into the account of the provost in Access bank.“The amount was meant for the purchase of two number 32-seater Toyota Buses for the FSMLT.
“But before that transfer of N24. 3 million, Yahusa Associate Ltd account had only a balance of N398.33 only as could be seen on this exhibit, P24, being bank statement of the contractor, Yahusa Associate Ltd;” Salawa stated.Being led in evidence, by EFCC prosecution counsel, Mr Samuel Okereke, Salawa alleged that Sunday-Etukudo and the four suspects diverted the school’s funds into his (Provost’s) personal account with Access Bank Plc. on Sept. 19, 2008.“On Oct. 1, 2008, two contract sums of N3. 4 million and N1. 1 million were also paid into the account of the firm by the school but on Oct. 6, 2008 the firm transferred N4. 4 million back into the provost’s account, “ the witness alleged.He also alleged that two other payments of N4,. 5 million and N2.2 million which was were paid into the firm;s account, ended up in the Sunday-Etukudo’s account.
The witness also alleged that the school also paid N47.4 million on Dec. 10, 2008 into another firm, Batuta Associates Ltd; owned by the provost for the purchase of some Medical Laboratory equipment but that on Dec. 15, 2008, N34. 5 million out of the amount ended up in Sunday-Etukudo’s account.
Salawa also alleged that many other payments were made by the school to the company belonging to Goodluck Echewa, the fourth accused, G-Omans Services Nig. for N6 million, N4.9 million, N19,6 million, N14. 1 million and N21 million for the purchase of several facilities for the school.When Okereke asked the witness what happened to the funds, Salawa said that as usual, “most of those monies ended up in the account of the Provost, Sunday-Etukudo.
”Lead Counsel to Sunday-Etukudo, Mr Solomon Umoh, SAN, applied for an adjournment Umoh also pleaded with the court to adjourned the case to November to enable his client, Sunday-Etukudo, travel abroad for a medical treatment due to his worsening condition of health Justice Longji consented to the applications and adjourned the case until Oct. 28, for continuation of hearing, “which will be from day to day.” (NAN)