How I Collected Dollars in Cash for Emefiele – Dispatch Rider Testifies in Court

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A dispatch rider, Monday Osazuwa, on Friday, narrated to the Special Offences Court in Lagos how the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, instructed him on different occasions to collect the sum of $3m cash in tranches.

Osazuwa, who was led in evidence in chief by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), told the court that he had been a dispatch rider at Zenith Bank since 2001, before joining the CBN as a contract staff member in 2014.

The witness said Emefiele was the Managing Director of Zenith Bank while he worked there as a dispatch rider.

According to Osazuwa, he knew Emefiele, who was his boss while in Zenith Bank, before he later joined him in the CBN.

The witness, who testified before Justice Raman Oshodi, said he was later appointed as a senior supervisor (full-time) in charge of recording and filing documents while working in the CBN Governor’s office in Lagos.

Osazuwa said, “I was still working in the governor’s office when I was appointed a full-time staff member, and we usually communicated through WhatsApp and email.

“I performed as a senior supervisor, recording and filing with other official roles.

“I could recall that, in 2020, when he was outside Lagos, Emefiele called me and gave me a number that a man had something I would collect from him, and that the man would give me the number of another person.

“When I got to the man’s office, I was given an envelope. I counted the money (in it), and was told to give it to my boss.”

The witness further told the court that Emefiele usually collected money alone whenever he was in Lagos.

According to him, any time the defendant was not around, Emefiele would tell him (Osazuwa) to give the money to the second defendant, Henry Omoile.

Osazuwa added that Emefiele sent him to MINL Limited when he was with Zenith Bank.

He added, “This company is situated at Isolo. The first defendant(Emefiele) do send me to collect cheques from the company from Mr. Monday, and when I collect the cheque from Mr. Monday, I would give it back to Emefiele, and he would lodge the money into the account of Dummies Oil and Gas.”

Osazuwa further stated that Emefiele’s co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, lived in the residence of the former CBN governor.

He stated that when he collected money for his boss (Emefiele), he would take it to his residence at Iru Close, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Whenever I received the money and took it to my boss’ residence, Mr Emefiele would tell me to give it to the second defendant (Omoile) whenever he was not home.

“I did not keep a record of the transactions, because he instructed me that I should collect the money and bring it to his house.

“The highest amount I collected was $1m, all in cash. Some weeks later, the businessman also called me, and I collected $850,000, $750,000, and $400,000 in cash in different tranches.

“I have never been rewarded, paid, or given anything. I was doing it out of faithfulness, and he knows it, but he never for once said, ‘Take this’,” the witness said.

While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr. Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, the witness confirmed to the court that he had been working with the defendant since 2002.

Earlier, Justice Oshodi had granted Emefiele bail in the sum of N50m.

He is being tried for alleged abuse of office and fraud to the tune of $4.5bn and N2.8bn.

The judge admitted Emefiele to N50m bail with two sureties in like sum.

He held that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have three years of tax payment with the Lagos State Government.

Oshodi also said that the sureties must show proper identification and be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

The judge also said that he was satisfied with the bail conditions of N1m earlier granted to Emefiele’s co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoil, who is standing trial in another charge before Justice Olufunke Sule-Hamzat of the Yaba High Court.

Oshodi, however, said that the bail documents must be transferred to the Special Offences Court and registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

The EFCC arraigned Emefiele on Monday, April 8, on 23 counts bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained, and conferring corrupt advantage, while his co-defendant was arraigned on three counts bordering on acceptance of a gift by agents.

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

Justice Oshodi also refused an oral application for adjournment, which was moved twice by defence counsel, Labi-Lawal, to cross-examine the witness.

The judge adjourned the case till April 29, 2024, for trial and the hearing of an application for a closed section.

 

 

 

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