Former Director of Finance, Abia State, Government House, Mr. Jones Udeogu, has denied paying any money into the accounts of Slok Nigeria Limited.
Udogu, who is standing trial with former governor of Abia, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, in the fraud charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said whatever money released, when he was in office, was authorised by the then Chief of Staff to the governor, Senator Theodore Orji.
The accused told the Federal High Court, Lagos: “Neither me nor any other staff of Government House paid any money into Slok account. We also did not receive any Board Resolution from Slok requesting for any money to be paid into Slok account.”
Udeogu, who worked with Kalu when he was governor, said, while being led in Evidence in Chief by his counsel, Chief Solo Akuma, said based on Civil Service Rules, he had no direct contact with governor nor took orders from him but from his Chief of Staff, T. A Orji, who was also the manager of Government House’s fund.
He said based on hierarchy, Kalu as governor was the boss and that Chief of Staff, Orji, who was in charge of the administration of government, was next in line of command.
“According to Civil Service Rules nobody can bypass the Chief of Staff to see or take orders from the governor. All the directors take orders from the Chief of Staff. Unit Heads take orders from their various directors and it is only the Chief of Staff that can gives approval for who gets what from the Government House bank accounts.
“My duty then was just to work out release of funds in any forms either cash or cheque from the accounts.”
He said the disbursement of funds in Abia State Government House was made pursuant to the approval of the Chief of Staff.
Hearing in the case continues tomorrow.