Sylvester Ngwuta, the Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s trial resumed on Wednesday, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, with the first prosecution witness telling the court how Ngwuta paid him a total of N313 million for the construction of three sets of buildings in different areas in Ebonyi State, including Abakiliki the state’s capital.
The building contractor, Nwamba Chukwuebuka, said the monies were paid mostly in cash, in Naira and Dollar equivalent, between January and September 2016.
Chukwuebuka pointed out that the total sum for the contracts was N405 million as follows: “N130 million for the first building; N165 million for the second and N110 million for the third”, adding, however, that as at September last year, he had received only N313 million.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Charles Adeogun-Philips, the witness whose company was registered under the name, Base4 Services Limited, said that out of the total amount already paid him, only N30 million was paid via bank transfer; others had been in cash – Naira and Dollars.
Chukwuebuka told the court that the first project, for N130 million, includes “a storey building library block, a four-bedroom bungalow (all self-contained), recovery of a swampy plot and making it habitable, two four-bedroom duplexes detached, a garage “to house some vehicles” and a perimeter fencing of the structures.”
According to him, the project, which had a ten-month deadline, commenced in January 2016 and has been completed and the total contract amount paid.
The witness said that the second project located on Onwe Road, Abakaliki was to cost N165 million.
It comprised the demolition of a dilapidated storey-building, sand-filling of the area “to attain a reasonable level because it was very deep down the road and the erection of four units of four-bedroom duplexes for commercial purposes.”
Chukwuebuka said that there was no deadline for the second project, but he had been paid the sum of N100 million in cash out of the N165 million.
According to the witness, the third project included “the reconstruction of a poorly built structure, erection of another duplex with a penthouse, a boys’ quarter, painting, decoration, fencing, the gate house and powerhouse.”
He said the third project which was quoted at N110 million was located in Amofia-Ukawu, Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
He further said that N83 million has been paid so far for the project; N53 million in cash and N30 million via bank transfer.
The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter till 9th February for cross-examination of the witness.