Emefiele Used Proxy To Obtain Contracts From CBN, Witness Tells Court

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A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the former Central Bank Governor (CBN), Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday narrated to the Federal High Court in Lagos how he allegedly used his companies to obtain several contracts from the apex bank.

The witness, Mrs. Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, who is a business relationship manager with Zenith Bank plc, told the trial judge, Justice Rahman Oshodi, that the companies are Limelight Multidimensional Ltd, Come Support Services Ltd, Ambswin Resources Ltd and Magofarm.

The former CBN boss was arraigned before the court alongside one Herry Omoile on allegations of accepting gratification, accepting gifts through agents, corruption, and fraudulent property receipt

The anti-graft agency also accused the defendant of conferring corrupt advantage on his associates contrary to the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mrs. Ogbonnaya, who is the fifth prosecution witness, told the court that she never had any direct dealings with the ex-CBN governor but that she was receiving instructions from his wife, Mrs Margaret Emefiele, to transfer cash flow from the CBN into their private company’s Zenith Bank account.

The witness also testified that apart from Mrs Emefiele, she also received instructions from two other persons, Mr John Ogah and Mr Opeyemi Oludimu, who works for Emefiele.

The banker, who was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), informed the judge that she received the instructions via her official email and at times through phone calls or WhatsApp.

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Mrs. Ogbonnaya further claimed that it was one Emmanuel who opened the accounts for Emefiele’s companies but that it was taken over by a new set of signatories in 2021.

She alleged that the two signatories to the accounts are Mr Stephen and Mrs Patricia, but Mrs Emefiele instructed all transfer instructions to that account.

The witness said, “Whenever she sends us instructions or sends it through the other two people that work with them, I usually confirm from her.

“The Limelight manages the facilities of CBN, located at Alakija. The vendors always did all transactions about power and fixing things that weren’t working.

“So far, Answabian was used to provide diesel to their vendors.

“They have a printing and minting company located at Ikoyi. For Kome, there were also facilities for the CBN Guest House in Ikoyi,” she stated.

The banker further told the court that between March 9 and 11, 2015, the account received cash flow from CBN of the sums of N1,792,593 and N18,869,400.

She claimed, “On February 22, 2021, there was a cash flow of N42,988,758.75 from CBN; on July 21, 2022, there was a cash flow of N37,279,964.70 On October 21, 2022, there was a credit flow of N44,641,077.60; on May 10, 2023, there was a cash flow of N93,100,000 from CBN, among others.

Earlier, Justice Oshodi granted Emefiele’s request to recall the first prosecution witness Monday Obaze for re-cross-examination.

The case has been adjourned to July 10 for the continuation of the trial.

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