How Emefiele Cornered Most of CBN’s Contract To Family Companies

Posted on July 9, 2024

AISHAT ABUBAKAR

The business relationship manager of Zenith Bank Plc, Mrs Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, on Tuesday told the Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos, how the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, used his companies to clinch several contracts from the Apex Bank.

 

Emefiele is standing trial of alleged abuse of office and allocation of $4.5bn, N2.8bn, while he was the CBN governor.

 

The embattled former CBN governor is facing 26-count charges alongside his co-defendant, Henry Isioma Omoile, before Justice Rahman Oshodi, preferred against them by the Economic and Financial crimes commission.

 

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

She said apart from Mrs. Emefiele, she also receives instructions from two other people Mr. John Ogah and one Mr. Opeyemi Oludimu, who works for Emefiele but he is now late.

 

The witness, who was led in evidence in chief by the EFCC prosecution counsel Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), told the court how she received the instructions via her official email, and other time through phone calls or WhatsApp.

She told Justice Oshodi that the companies that received the cash flow from CBN, were Limelight multidimensional Ltd, Come Support Services Ltd and Ambswin resources Ltd and Magofarm.

The witness testified that it was one Emmanuel that opened the accounts for Emefiele’s companies but that it was taken over by a new set of signatories in 2021.

She said the two signatories to the accounts are Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Patricia but that all transfer instructions that came to that account was instructed by Mrs. Emefiele.

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

Limelight manages the facilities of CBN, located at Alakija.

“All transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working was always done by the vendors. So far Answabian was basically used to provide diesel to their vendors. They have printing and minting company located at Ikoyi. For Kome, they were also facilities for the CBN guest house in Ikoyi.”

Ogbonnaya 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.

Earlier Justice Oshodi granted the application of Emefiele’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo SAN to recall the first prosecution witness Monday Obaze for re- cross examination.

However, the case was adjourned till July 10, for the continuation of trial.

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