FRN vs Usoro: EFCC’s Witness Faces ‘Fire’ of Cross Examination

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The trial of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Paul Usoro SAN on alleged money laundering involving the payment of his professional fees by the Akwa Ibom State Government and Governor Udom Emmaunel continued today at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The trial which was earlier stalled by the failure of the EFCC to furnish the Defence with the necessary document to aid their case resumed today with the commencement of cross examination of Mrs. Idongesit Udom.

Mrs. Idongesit Udom, Deputy Manager of Zenith Bank is the Prosecution’s first witness. PW1. In her cross examination which was conducted by Chief Offiong Offiong SAN, she told the court how she called the Defendant “before noon” on a date she could not remember.  She confirmed that she did not submit her phone to the EFCC during the investigation. She also informed the court that there is no evidence to show that she made the call to the Defendant as she does not have a call log of the call. She also told the court that the EFCC never checked her phone to ascertain whether she placed a call to the Defendant or not but however insisted that she called the Defendant in respect of the account opening.

On the payment of the sum of N300m into the Defendant’s account, PW1 confirmed that it is Zenith Bank’s mandatory procedure for every account to have an alert by email. She however informed the court that there was no email from her, nor the bank to the Defendant on the payment of N300m into the Defendant’s account.

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The cross examination of the witness would continue on the next adjourned date.

Mr. Usoro SAN’s trial is on the allegation that his firm Paul Usoro & Co received  professional fees which they ought to have known  “forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act” from Akwa Ibom State Government and Governor Udom Emmanuel

Lawyers await anxiously a timely completion of the suit as same would afford a clearer understanding of what steps to take while receiving professional fees from clients.

Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo led the prosecution while Chief Offiong Offiong SAN led sixteen lawyers including three Senior Advocates of Nigeria for the Defendant.

The suit has been adjourned to 23rd March, 21st and 22nd April for Continuation of trial.

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