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Emefiele: Court admits bundles of documents in evidence



The trial of the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, continued on Thursday with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission tendering bundles of documents to nail him.

Emefiele is standing trial over abuse of office and alleged $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud while in office.

It was reported that the documents were tendered through the third prosecution witness, a Compliance Officer with the Zenith Bank, Mr Clement Ngolu, by the EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN).

The documents were admitted into evidence following a no-objection submission from the first defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), and the second defence counsel, Mr Adeyinka Kotoye (SAN).

Justice Rahman Oshodi admitted the original copies of Zenith Bank account opening package, statement of account of Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd., sent to the EFCC in evidence.

“I have read the documents dated March 2024, and I admit the original certified copy of the bundles of documents which include account opening package, statement of accounts in evidence and are marked as Exhibit A,” Oshodi said.

Ngolu, in his evidence, said his department responded to regulators and law enforcement agencies in order to ensure that the bank activities were in line with banking policies and regulations.

He added that his department worked with agencies such as the EFCC, the Nigeria Police, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The witness said that his department, in 2014, got a request from the EFCC to furnish them with statements of accounts of Limelight and two other accounts.

“The documents we sent to the EFCC were duly signed by the staff of the bank.

“The process of generating the statement was through our computer system which was in good condition.

“The documents were printed out from the company’s computer which was working well and the documents were in the bank’s custody,” the witness said.

The defence, however, said they had no question for the witness.

Also, a former Director of Information Technology of CBN, Mr John Ayoh, in the continuation of his cross-examination, said he had a confrontation with Emefiele because he asked him to do something wrong.

The witness, who further confirmed that he was sidelined by the embattled governor, added that his being sidelined made him not to have any relationship with him.

“I was not happy being unpopular with the former CBN governor, but on a number of occasions, I signed contract letters to vendors.

“While I was a director with the CBN, my loyalty was to the bank and the Nigerian nation and my relationship with Emefiele was only formal and based on instructions.

“The governor and the four deputy governors of the bank, alongside the directors, make up the management of the CBN,” he said.

The fourth witness, a contractor, in his evidence, testified before the court how he was allegedly pressurised by the apex bank management to pay $600,000 for the contract which he had executed.

It was reported that Ayoh had, on April 29, narrated before the court how he allegedly collected $600,000 for contract gratification for Emefiele.

The EFCC had, on April 8, arraigned Emefiele on 23 counts bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage.

Also, his co-defendant was arraigned on three counts bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The judge adjourned the case until May 17, for continuation of trial.

Adenike Ayodele

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