Prosecution Witness Eight, Hamma Adama Bello, testified before Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, detailing the alleged diversion of public funds by former Head of Service (HoS), Winifred Oyo-Ita, and her subordinates into private companies.

Oyo-Ita, along with her special assistants and six companies, faces criminal prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 18-count charges related to misappropriation, official corruption, money laundering, and criminal diversion of funds amounting to over N3 billion.

In his testimony, Bello, led by prosecution counsel Faruk Abdullahi and H.M. Mohammed, outlined how Oyo-Ita purportedly used Slopes International Limited and Good Deal Investments Limited to fraudulently secure government contracts for herself.

These companies, according to the witness, were allegedly incorporated with Oyo-Ita’s knowledge and used to siphon public funds.

The witness provided details of transactions, including payments made into the accounts of these companies, allegedly orchestrated to benefit Oyo-Ita and her associates.

He highlighted instances where significant sums of money were transferred into these companies’ accounts, with Oyo-Ita purportedly benefiting from the proceeds.

Furthermore, Bello revealed how the seventh defendant, Ugbong Okon Effiok, allegedly incorporated Asanaya Projects Ltd in his name with Oyo-Ita’s knowledge.

Payments were reportedly made to Effiok or his company, with approvals allegedly granted by Oyo-Ita

The witness testified that Effiok admitted to never traveling for most of the funds he received and that Oyo-Ita was aware and benefitted from these transactions.

The witness also mentioned the opening of an account by Effiok for U and U Global Services Limited, implicating him further in the alleged scheme.

Bello’s testimony provided a detailed account of the alleged financial impropriety involving Oyo-Ita and her associates, shedding light on the purported diversion of public funds into private entities for personal gain.

“In summary, from 2015 to 2018, U and U Global Limited received several payments in the form of Duty Tour Allowances and estacodes. Sometimes, payments from the federal government were made directly to the account, for instance, on March 24, 2016, he received N40,313,453.58 (Forty Million, Three Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Three Naira, Fifty-eight Kobo). This particular payment was from the federal government.”