The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday re-arraigned George Turnah, a former Special Adviser to Dan Abia, an erstwhile Managing Director of Niger Delta Commission.
Also re-arraigned before Justice Mohammed Turaki of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, are two other persons and nine firms
According to a statement on Monday by the Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday, the defendants were re-arraigned on an amended 23 counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering and abuse of office to the tune of N2.89bn.
Appearing before Justice Turaki, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them when they were read.
EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, I. Agwu, adopted the subsisting evidence on record and told the court that the witnesses, who had earlier testified before the court, wouldn’t be called upon to re-testify against the defendants.
One of the charges indicated that the defendants on November 24, 2014 took possession of the sum of N708,500,000 by false pretence from the Niger Delta Development Commission, purportedly for the purpose of providing quick win jobs for 300 youths and women groups and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under 15 (3) of the same Act.”
On his part, counsel for the defendants, Professor Amuda Kaneke, (SAN), prayed the court not to revoke the existing bail granted the defendants and further urged the court for an adjournment to enable him to study the amended charges against his clients before proceeding with his defence.
The defendants are George Turnah Alabh, Ebis Orubebe and Uzorgor Silas Chidiebere, who were arraigned alongside El- Godams Global Services Ltd, Turnoil and Gas Nigeria Ltd, Kolo Creek Petroleum Development Ltd, Celtic Pride Consult and Events Ltd, Yenagoa Mall Ltd, the Incorporated Trustees of Concerned Niger Delta Initiative, Akara Boro Marine Services Ltd, Sugarland Integrated Farms Nig. Ltd and Geohan Telecommunications Nig. Ltd.
Acceding to the defence counsel prayers, Justice Turaki ordered that the defendants’ existing bail to continue and adjourned the matter till March 15, 16 and 17, 2021 for continuation of trial.