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Emefiele awarded CBN contracts to his companies, witness tells court

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Godwin Emefiele the embattled former CBN governor arrives in court

The trial of Godwin Emefiele, the immediate-past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, continued on Tuesday, with a banker, Mrs. Ifeoma Ogbonaya, telling the court that the ex-CBN boss misused his position by allocating CBN contracts to his personal enterprises. 

Emefiele is on trial with one Henry Omoile before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.

Emefiele was charged with abuse of authority and improper allocation of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion while serving as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ogbonna, the fifth prosecution witness, told the court on Tuesday that she had no dealings with the former CBN governor but was instructed by his wife, Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, to move money from CBN to their private company’s account.

She stated that, in addition to Mrs. Emefiele, she received orders from two other Emefiele employees, Mr. John Ogah and Mr. Opeyemi Oludimu.

The witness, who was led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), told the court that she received the orders through her official email, phone calls, and WhatsApp.

She informed Justice Oshodi that Limelight Multidimensional Ltd., Kome Support Services Ltd., Ansbaswin Resources Ltd., and Mago Farm had received cash flow from the CBN.

The witness stated that one Emmanuel opened the accounts for Emefiele’s firms, but they were taken over by a different set of signatories in 2021.

She stated that while Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Patricia are the two signatories to the accounts, Mrs. Emefiele directed all transfer orders to that account.

“Whenever she sent us instructions or sent them through the other two people who worked with them, I usually got confirmation from her. All the transfers that came into that account were instructed by Madam Margaret Emefiele.

“Limelight manages the facilities of the CBN, located at Alakija. All transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working were always done by the vendors.

“So far, Answabian has basically been used to provide diesel to their vendors.

“They have a printing and minting company located in Ikoyi. For Kome, there were also facilities for the CBN guest house in Ikoyi.”

Ogbonna also told the court that between March 9 and 11, 2015, the account received cash flow from CBN to the tune of N1, 792,593 and N18,869,400.

“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 approved Emefiele’s plea to recall the first prosecution witness, Monday Osazuwa, so that the defence may cross-examine him again.

However, the matter was deferred until July 10 to continue the trial.

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