Court Grants Emefiele’s Request to Recall First Prosecution Witness

Funke Olaode

The Lagos Special Offences Court yesterday,  granted the request of the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to recall the first prosecution witness, Monday  Osazuwa.

Emefiele is standing trial over abuse of office and alleged $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud, while in office alongside his co-defendant, Henry Omoile.

Counsel to Omoile, Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi, had notified the court of a motion on notice dated May 6.

Gbadamosi, subsequently sought the indulgence of the court to recall the first prosecution witness, Mr. Osazuwa.

Osazuwa had on April 12 testified how the embattled CBN governor, on different occasions, allegedly directed him to collect three million dollars cash in tranches on his behalf.

However, ruling on the application yesterday, Justice Rahman Oshodi granted the application of Gbadamosi to recall the witness.

During the proceeding, the Assistant Manager of Zenith Bank Plc, Ms. Ifeoma Ogbonna, alleged that firms owned by the former CBN Governor’s wife, Mrs. Magret Emefiele: Answabian Resources and Solution, Limelight Dimensional Service Limited, Omec Support Service Limited and Mango Farm, were CBN vendors.

In her evidence led by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the fifth prosecution witness (Ogbonnaya) told Justice Rahman Oshodi that she received instructions from Margret Emefiele to transfer funds on firms Zenith Bank accounts.

She said she joined the Zenith Bank Plc in 2006, as a Business Relationship Manager also known as Marketer. She said she joined the marketing team in 2017, and manage customer portfolio.

“Before, I used to work as a customer service and as the team lead at the Opebi Branch of Zenith Bank. But currently I am an Assistant Manager of the Zenith Bank Plc.”

Ogbonnaya, however, stressed that she had no personal relationship with the former CBN governor, Emefiele.

She noted that whenever Mrs. Emefiele sends them instructions or sends instruction through the other two people that works with them, she usually confirm from her. She also said she usually chat with her via Whatsapp.

 “Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, the ex CBN governor’s wife is the direct beneficiary of the accounts. The companies send transfer instructions to my email and Margaret is the beneficial owner of the accounts.

“All transactions made in the accounts are confirmed by Mrs Emefiele before they are 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,” she alleged.

She said Limelight manages the facilities of CBN located at Alakija area of Lagos, alleging that all transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working was always done by the vendors.

The prosecution tendered bundles of documents which entailed various transactions that took place between the witness and Emefiele’s wife.

The court, thereafter admitted into evidence, the certificate of identification, bundle of printed documents, following no objections from the defence.

Ogbonna further 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,” she alleged.

Emefiele’s Counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo and the second defence counsel, Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi did not object the admissibility of the documents.

Justice Oshodi subsequently adjourned the case to today for continuation of trial.

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