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Monday, May 20, 2024

How I Used My Motorcycle to Collect $3m for Emefiele in Batches – Dispatch Rider

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

It was a shocking revelation yesterday at an Ikeja Special Offences Court, as a dispatch rider, Monday Osasuwa, narrated how he used his dispatch motorcycle to collect and smuggle out a whopping sum of $3 million cash in tranches for the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele on different occasions.

Osasuwa, who was later employed as a staff of the CBN, made the disclosure while giving evidence before Justice Rahman Oshodi.

Led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, the witness said he was a dispatch rider in Zenith Bank as at 2001 before he joined CBN as a contract staff in 2014.

He said he knew Emefiele as the Managing Director of Zenith Bank while he was working as a dispatch rider in the bank before he joined him in CBN.

The witness said he was appointed a full-time employee in the position of senior supervisor in recording and filing of documents while working in the CBN Governor’s office in Lagos.

He said: “I was still working in the governor’s office while I was appointed as a full staff, and we usually communicate through WhatsApp and email.

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

Osazuwa said sometime in 2020, while he was outside Lagos, the 1st defendant called him and gave him a man’s number to call.

He said the 1st defendant (Emefiele) told him the man had something he (Osazuwa) would collect from him on his behalf.

He said the first defendant also told him that the man would give him another number of another person to call.

“When I got to the man’s office, I was given an envelope. I counted the money and he said I should give it to my boss.”

The witness further told the court that the first defendant usually collected money by himself anytime he was in Lagos.

He said anytime the 1st defendant was not around, he would tell him to give the money to the second defendant (Henry Isioma-Omoile).

Osazuwa also told the court that Emefiele used to send him to MINL Ltd when he was with Zenith Bank.

“This company is situated in Isolo. The first Defendant does send me to collect cheques from the company from Mr. Monday, and when I collected the cheque from him, I would give it back to Emefiele and he would lodge the money in Dumies Oil and Gas account.”

According to him, Emefiele’s co-defendant, Isioma-Omoile, lived in the residence of the former CBN Governor.

He stated that when he collects money for his boss, he takes it to the latter’s residence at Iru Close, Ikoyi.

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

The witness however told the court that he did not keep record of the transactions because the instruction the 1st Defendant gave him was that he should collect the money and take the money to his house.

“The highest amount I collected was $1 million all in cash, and some weeks later, the businessman also gave me $850,000, $750,000 and $400,000 cash in tranches.

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

Under cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, the witness confirmed to the court that he had been working with the defendant since 2002.

The witness could not say the precise years or months he had seen the second defendant, but he was sure that Isioma-Omoile had been living in Emefiele’s house for some months.

According to the witness, Emefiele passed instructions to him through the 2nd Defendant, adding that he had been collecting cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas.

He, however, told the court when he was made to confront the second defendant during investigation but that the 2nd defendant failed to admit it.

“I started collecting cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas when I was in Zenith Bank.

“I cannot calculate the exact year I have been collecting the cheques, but it all started when the first defendant was the MD at Zenith Bank and I was working at Zenith Bank,” he said.

Earlier during proceedings yesterday, Justice Oshodi granted bail in the sum of N50 million to the embattled former CBN Governor.

Justice Oshodi, in a ruling, admitted Emefiele to N50 million bail with two sureties in like sum.

Oshodi ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must have made three years tax payment with the Lagos State Government.

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

The judge said he was satisfied with the bail conditions of N1 million earlier given to Emefiele’s co-defendant, Isioma-Omoile, who is facing another charge before Justice Olufunke Sule-Hamzat at a Yaba High Court.

Oshodi, however, said that the bail documents must be transferred to special offences court and it must also be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

The judge adjourned the case until April 29 for trial and hearing of application for closed section.

The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on April 8 arraigned Emefiele on a 23-count charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage, while his co-defendant was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.

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

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