The trial of Chidi Adabanya, a former employee of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), who, along with some officials of the Bayelsa State Government, allegedly obtained the sum of N1.9 billion from the oil company through a phony consultancy contract for development permit in the Gbanran- Ubie project, is to resume tomorrow, October 21, before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, according to a statement from EFCC.
Adabanya was charged together with Forstech Technical Nigeria Limited, Gastroil Ventures Limited, Andrew Feyaikebena Ebakpa; Ibe Uzoma, Ezekiel Benneth Hart, Presley Ebakpa, Kwokwo Bolouwenimo and Kwokwo Ebikibina, Bikyiis Integrated Services Limited and Fambo Integrated Services Limited, before Justice Gladys Olotu on June 18, 2012 on a 22-count charge that borders on money laundering.
At the last hearing of the case before Justice Olotu proceeded on retirement, the prosecution presented two witnesses. One of the witnesses, Francis Onodingene, a former manager of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Warri, told the how, through the influence of Adabanya, Forstech Technical Nigeria Limitedâ€™s dormant account with the bank was reactivated majorly to receive the N1.9billion payment expected from Shell.
He revealed how the money was eventually paid into the account in three tranches and how Adabanya nominated his mistress, Uzo Ibie to run the account
Another witness, Abubakar Omede, an investigator with the EFCC told the court that there was no trace of Forstech in the address indicated as its office in Warri, Delta State. He also disclosed that the supposed residence of the two directors of the Company could not be found.
The removal of Justice Olotu from the bench meant the case had to be reassigned to a new judge. When the matter came up for re-arraignment on June 3, 2014, only Benneth Ezekiel- Hart appeared in court. All other accused persons, including Adabanya refused to either appear or send their counsel to court.