A former Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Eunisell Nigeria Ltd, Kenneth Amadi on Tuesday informed Justice Ambrose Lewis Allagoa of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, that he did not steal a sum to the tune of N2.9 billion or defraud such or any amount at all from Eunisell Ltd as alleged by the prosecution.
He stated this when he opened his defence in an alleged N2.9bn fraud charge filed against him by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.
The former CEO revealed to the judge that he joined the company sometime in the year 2000 based on an oral agreement and that he helped grew Eunisell’s business from a paltry sum of N8m to billions of Naira when he was about to exit the company in 2016.
He said that there was no problem between him and Chika Ikenga, the Chairman and owner of Eunisell Nigeria Limited throughout the sixteen and a half years he worked with him until 2016 when he decided to leave Eunisell Nigeria Ltd and concentrate on his own company.
The defendant, a Chemical Engineer by profession, said in his testimony that when he decided to leave the company to concentrate on his own business, he went to meet Ikenga to inform him about the development. According to Amadi, immediately after he informed him (Ikenga) about the position, Ikega got angry and started threatening him saying that he can’t start a business that will compete with his own.
He added that Ikenga vowed to make sure that he destroy him and the business.
Going further, Amadi said on October 28, 2016, the chairman invited him to his office where he met him and one of his friends, adding at that meeting, the chairman again repeated his threat to destroy him with all the means at his disposal.
Amadi added that while this was going on, the chairman’s friend who was at the meeting was videoing what was happening and that it was at the meeting that Ikenga asked him to tender his letter of resignation, even though he was not given any letter of employment.
“I tendered the resignation letter to show good faith and not that I was under any obligation to do so”, the defendant said.
Amadi testified that apart from promoting the company’s image, he used his influence to bear on the company to the extent that many big companies, like A-Z International, Ammasco Ltd, the Nigerian Airforce, and the Navy, among others, started to buy the company’s lubricant oil. “The Navy and the likes were buying Ammasco’s products through my efforts and expertise,” he added.
Amadi said that not long after the October meeting with Ikenga and his friend, Ikenga started writing to his business partners, including foreign partners telling them initially that he stole his money. He said Ikenga’s action/motive is just to tarnish his image.
“Chika Ikenga and Eunisell’s intentions were to destroy my business relationship with Chevron Oronite,” Amadi told the court.
The defendant denied ever stealing the company money in any sum and that all the money paid through him was delivered to the company and acknowledged by the company finance manager who was directly responsible to the chairman.
Amadi said he was not in any way connected to the books of the company or the company’s finances except the money paid to him by some of the clients he introduced to the company who paid money through him to ensure that their money is safe and that all the money were paid to the company without any issue or problem.
He told the court that in December 2016, Ikenga and Eunisell wrote a petition to the police alleging that he stole his N102m but the police after investigation exonerated him of all the allegations.
When asked if the 3rd prosecution witness DCP Ada Uche Anya was in the police team that investigated him, Amadi said that there was only one investigation done and that was in 2017, whose report exonerated him of any wrongdoing.
DCP Anya, a female police officer, according to him was never on the team, adding that he has never seen her before or known her except surprisingly, the day she came and gave evidence in the court on the petition she was not part of the team that investigated it.
Similarly, Amadi said that the 5th prosecution witness from the bank, Emmanuel Nwamadi is not known to him as he never met him or had a banking transaction with him.
The defendant added that Ikenga further petitioned the EFCC, alleging that it was N500m and after investigation, the EFCC also absolved him of any wrongdoing.
“I did not steal Eunisell’s N2.9bn or any of their money as the account of the company was not part of my duties neither am I a signatory to the company’s account or in charge of loading their product. He got all the monies. I was neither a director nor trustee of Eunisell Ltd.
“My schedule is to look for business opportunities for the company which I did to the best of my ability and to the good of the company. I did not breach any trust. He enjoyed the mutual agreement he had with me because he was getting the money from the contacts I brought into Eunisell and he knew where the money was coming from and confirmed receipt for all monies paid into Eunisell account,” he stated.
Amadi disclosed to the court that he introduced at least 98 percent of his contacts to Eunisell. He also told the court that he never derived any personal benefits from customers of Eunisell in the course of doing business with them.
He posited: “All transactions were done in the bank and there was nothing like electronic transfer.
“Cheques were paid and the tellers were submitted to the finance department and duly acknowledged.”
The defence stated that he did not forge any invoice or waybill as alleged by Ikenga and Eunisell. He did not raise or handle Eunisell invoices and waybill as these were not his responsibilities.
Amadi further stated that he does not input or handle financial data of Eunisell and as such did not manipulate Eunisell financial data in any way or in any form.
Counsel to Amadi, O.J. Akinwale tendered certified police and EFCC reports which exonerated him as well as A-Z and Ammasco letters to the police which absolved him of the allegations of stealing Eunisell’s N2.9 billion or any money at all.
Defence also tendered letters from AZ and Ammasco. The letters clearly stated why the two companies paid through Kenneth Amadi.
Amadi further hinted: “When I introduced Eunisell to AZ and Ammasco, they gave a condition that they would do business with Eunisell if only they would make their payments through me because they trusted me. I went to Ikenga and relayed the conditions given by these companies to him. He asked me to go ahead with the conditions, saying that he needed customers for his business to grow.”
On claims by Ikenga that Eunisell took care of the defendant’s accommodation and hospital bills, Amadi debunked the claim.
He said, “Ikenga or Eunisell never paid my house rent. I took loan of N150,000 for my house rent and repaid it in two installments of N75,000 each. I also personally paid my hospital bills except on one occasion when I had waist problem and he gave me $5000.”
After the statement/testimony by the defendant from the dock, the prosecution did not cross examine Amadi.
The judge adjourned the case till October 20 for adoption of written addresses by parties.