The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has applied to a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, to prune down its 78 witnesses billed to testify against a former Chairman of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mrs Ngozi Olejeme.
The ex-aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan is being prosecuted by the Federal Government over her alleged involvement in the laundering of N3billion.
Olejeme was arraigned before the court on October 21 on a 9-count charge.
EFCC through its counsel, Mr Steve Odiase informed the court that the commission had reviewed the case against Olejeme and decided to reduce the number of witnesses, saying only vital witnesses would be called to give evidence in the trial.
“My Lord, we had earlier informed this court of our intention to call 78 witnesses to give evidence in this trial. But we have decided to scale down the witnesses because it is not how many that matters but how well. We will soon come up with an appreciable number of witnesses because we can’t go ahead with 78 witnesses and I urge my Lord to allow us to put our house in order before the next adjourned date.”
At Monday’s proceedings, EFCC called its first witness, Malam Salihu Dantsoho Sadiq who in his evidence denied knowing or ever transacting any direct business with the accused person.
Sadiq, who claimed to be a Bureau De Change Operator, admitted transacting business concerning the Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) through one Henry Sambo for purchase of foreign exchange.
The witness informed the court that the transactions involved millions of naira and were held between 2014 and 2015.