The Managing Consultant Of Tarib Consultant LTD the Start witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Bosun Arebuwan in the trial of Hon Nicholas Mutu the former Chairman Of the House Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has told a Federal High Court in Abuja Mutu never asked for money or gratification from him.
According to him while being cross examined by Counsel to Mutu, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN “at no time did Hon Mutu demanded or asked for any money, the money paid into Airworld LTD was not a proceed of crime and the money was paid by Starline Consultants the NDDC appointed revenue agent.
Arebuwan further told the court the N400 million to the Redeemed Church Of God for the construction of their Redeem Camp in Lagos is his money and he has the right to do with as he likes.
The prosecution witness also told the court that he has never met Hon Mutu nor know him personally adding”he never solicited, demanded or asked for the money. He said the consultants on their own decided to appreciate the Committee.
Arebuwan also said that he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airworld and issued it with an appointment letter to provide IT support for the project, he said that they also signed a Non Disclosure Agreement with Airworld and that the alleged N400 million bribe was for services rendered by Airworld for the project.
He further told the court that MOU and Non Disclosure agreement were all a cover up and that the demand order for payment were all part of the cover up.
The EFCC start witness having admitted to forging documents in a serious criminal matter may have unwittingly removed the foundation from the case as the only evidence before the court as regards to money being paid into the account of Airworld LTD is the demand order which Arebuwan admitted was forged or a cover up.
Also testifying the Managing Director Of Starline LTD Ibinabo Micheal West told the Court that he does not know Hon Mutu and has never met him adding that “Hon Mutu never asked me for anything, it was Arebuwan who requested me to pay the money into the accounts Of Airworld LTD.
Specifically Starline was contracted by the NDDC in 2014 to help in the recovery of 3% of the approved budget of Oil Companies operating in the Niger Delta as part of their contribution to funding of the Commission especially the companies that have not been complying with the provisions of the NDDC Act.
Starline partnered with Tarib Consultants to execute the job and Tarib in turn contracted Airworld to provide the Information Technology components of the project.
The job was done and over N170 billion was recovered by the consultants and The EFCC without any petition on their alleged that they traced N400million to Hon Mutu’s account as a Director Of Airworld LTD but the law allows members of the House of Representatives to be Directors in Companies the Star witness failed in his evidence as he said that Hon Mutu never gave him his account number neither did he ask to be appreciated he maintained that the money was given of his own volition as the N400 million he gave to the Redeemed Church.
Arebuwan maintained that the money was not proceeds of crime, corruption of fraudulent activities but that the money was legitimately earned to which he reserves the rights to decide what to do with it.
Specifically the EFCC had on February 3rd 2020 docked Hon Mutu before the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo over alleged graft his companies: Airworld Technologies LTD and Oyien Homes LTD, for allegedly receiving more than N4.8 million gratification from oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.