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CBN transferred funds to accounts controlled by Emefiele’s wife, witness tells court

Godwin Emefiele in court Godwin Emefiele in court
Godwin Emefiele in court

Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, an assistant manager with Zenith Bank, has testified against Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

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

The former CBN governor and Omoile pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

At the resumption of hearing on Tuesday, Ogbonnaya was presented as the fifth witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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The assistant manager told the court that the former CBN governor used Zenith Bank to transfer funds to Margaret, his wife, through various companies.

Ogbonnaya said she managed the various accounts of the companies.

The assistant manager said she was receiving instructions from Margaret regarding the accounts.

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Ogbonnaya said she also received instructions from two other people — John Ogah and Opeyemi Oludimu — who worked for Emefiele.

The assistant manager added that the accounts received cash from the apex bank to the tune of N18.9 million and N1.8 million at different times in March 2015.

“Mrs Margaret Emefiele, the ex-CBN governor’s wife, is the direct beneficiary of the accounts,” Ogbonnaya said.

“The companies sent transfer instructions to my email and Margaret is the beneficial owner of the accounts.

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“All transactions made in the accounts were confirmed by Mrs Emefiele before they were processed.

“She sends transfer instructions directly to my official email address with Zenith Bank or sends two other persons to act on her behalf but I still receive approval from her.”

Ogbonnaya said the companies that received the cash were Amswing Resources and Solution, Limelight Dimensional Service Ltd, Omec Support Service Ltd, and Mango Farm.

“Limelight manages the facilities of CBN, located at Alakija and all transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working,” she said.

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During the proceedings, the court admitted into evidence the certificate of identification, bundle of printed documents, following “no objections” from the defence.

Using the documents submitted, the witness explained the inflow and outflow of funds sent from the CBN through Zenith Bank to Emefiele’s wife.

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Earlier, Rahman Oshodi, the presiding judge, granted the request of Olalekan Ojo, Emefiele’s counsel, to recall Monday Osazuwa, the first prosecution witness.

The case was adjourned to July 10 for continuation of trial.

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