CBN official tells court how he collected over $3m in cash for Emefiele

Monday Osazuwa, an official of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has testified against Godwin Emefiele, a former governor of the apex bank, in the ongoing trial over alleged abuse of office.

Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, are currently facing trial on a 26-count charge at the high court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

The duo pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

At the court proceedings on Friday, Emefiele and Omole were granted bail by the court.



During the hearing, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), called Osazuwa as the prosecution’s first witness in the case.

Osazuwa said he currently works with the apex bank as a senior supervisor.


The CBN official told the court that he met Emefiele while working as a dispatch rider for the Victoria Island branch of Zenith Bank in Lagos.

The witness said Emefiele was the deputy managing director of Zenith Bank when he started working with him.

Osazuwa added that he was running errands for the former CBN governor during the period at Zenith Bank.

The witness told the court that he joined CBN as a contract worker in 2014 and was confirmed as an employee in 2015.


Osazuwa said he was employed when Emefiele was the CBN governor and was posted to his office in Lagos.

“He (Emefiele) usually communicates with me through Whatsapp. I see him when he comes to Lagos,” the witness said.

“My role as a senior supervisor is recording and filing. The other assignment, he (Emefiele) gives me, is to carry out certain messages and errands for him.”

The CBN official said he used to receive dollars in cash from some individuals for Emefiele and take the same to his Ikoyi residence.


The witness said whenever Emefiele was not in Lagos, he used to give the money to the second defendant — Omoile — at the former CBN governor’s residence in Ikoyi.

Osazuwa said Emefiele ordered him to call one man every Friday to ask if there was anything for him.


He added that the man always directed him to meet another man, who always gave him dollars in cash to give to Emefiele.

“In 2020, he (Emefiele) called me while he was outside Lagos. He said he will give me a number to call a man who will give me something,” Osazuwa said.


“I called the man. He said he will give me his boy’s number.

“I called his boy. He gave me his address. When I went to see him, I got to the place and sat down for a few minutes.


“He gave me an envelope. He brought it out and counted it. It was $100,000. He said I should give it to my boss (Emefiele).

“My boss was not around. He (Emefiele) said I should give it to Henry (second defendant).”

The witness also told the court that he was collecting dollars in cash from the man from 2020 to 2023.

Osazuwa said $1 million cash was the highest amount of money he collected from him for Emefiele.

“$1 million was the highest amount in cash. I have also collected $850,000, $750,000, and $400,000,” he told the court.

In the charge sheet, Emefiele’s co-defendant was accused of accepting $110,000 on behalf of the former CBN governor.

The money was said to be a “reward for allocating foreign exchange by the Central Bank” in favour of the man.

The anti-graft agency accused Emefiele of collecting $17.3 million from the man on account of forex allocation to his employer.

EFCC did not mention the name of the employer in the charge sheet.


Earlier, the court accepted EFCC’s application that the testimony of eight witnesses be heard in a closed session.

The EFCC counsel told the court that some of the agency’s witnesses are scared to testify in the case because they are being threatened.

Rahmon Oshodi, the presiding judge, adjourned the case to April 29 for continuation of trial.

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