By Vivian Okejeme
A former governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim, has contradicted himself over the ownership of N270 million property in a highbrow settlement of Abuja, in the ongoing trial over a three-count charge of money laundering and false assets declaration.
Ohakim, had, during his cross examination, said he was not the owner of the said property situated at 60 Kwame Nkrumah street, Asokoro, but the statement he wrote showed he had since finished the payment for the house.
Prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo had presented the said statement to Ohakim to read during cross examination.
Also, Ohakim, had, during examination in chief, denied being a friend to one Abu Sule, a Managing Director, with Tweeenex Consociates who was the initial owner of the house.
However, a statement written by the former governor at the EFCC custody showed he had referred to Sule as his friend and the person that bought the house on his behalf because he had no money on him.
While asked, why this was so, Ohakim responded that he only wrote what the investigators at the EFCC asked him to write.
When he was asked whether the said property belonged to him, Ohakim answered no because he has not finished paying for the house.
He, however, confirmed he had paid part of the money.
Upon further cross examination on how much he had really paid so far, Ohakim said he could not remember because the entire transaction documents were burnt when his house caught fire sometimes ago.
Prosecution counsel however presented bank documents which showed that the said property had been paid for by Ohakim.
Earlier, in his testimony, Sule told the court that the defendant had in 2012, requested his company to find a house for him to buy which they eventually got at No. 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Asokoro, Abuja.
He further told the court that the property was valued at 2.29 million dollars which was about N270 million as at that time.
However, Ohakim who denied the allegations said, “I did not engage in any dollar transaction with anyone to purchase properties for me.
“There was no point in time that I invited any Sule to my residence and I never gave out money to him in Ghana must go bags. I never conspired with anybody to steal or launder money for me.”
The former governor, who also denied concealing information about his assets in his assets declaration form, said the forms as at the time he filled them, were properly documented.
“I did not hide any information, I did not conceal any of my properties in the course of filing my assets declaration forms; I couldn’t have declared properties which do not belong to me,” he added.
The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola later adjourned till January 15 and 16, 2018, for continuation of trial.