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EFCC Cross-Examines Witnesses in Senator Albert Bassey’s Money Laundering Trial

The money laundering trial of Senator Obong Albert Bassey before Justice Agatha A. Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State continued on Monday with the cross-examination of defence witnesses by the prosecution.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had at the last sitting closed its case, while the defendant was ordered to open his defence. At today’s sitting, the defence called two witnesses, Kubiat Etah and Kennedy Ekong, who were cross-examined by prosecuting counsel, Attah Ocholi.

The witnesses, under cross-examination, claimed they were members of the defendant’s campaign team and that they each received buses for campaign purposes. However, they were unable to disclose the particulars of the vehicles and also did not state whether they personally took possession of the vehicles.

Asked whether they knew the nature of the transaction between the defendant and one Jide Omokore, the witnesses said ‘no’. They also said they were not privy to the procurement of the vehicles. Justice Okeke adjourned the case till 10th and 15th February 2022 for the continuation of defence.

The EFCC is prosecuting Senator Albert Bassey on six counts of money laundering, arising from the allegation that he took possession of six vehicles worth N204 million, at the instance of one Olajide Omokore, whose companies had contracts with the State Government, at the time.

Investigations revealed that the said vehicles were proceeds of crime and that he committed the offence while he served as Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State and Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee, in December 2012. The offence contravenes Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and is punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

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