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Zenith Bank Official Says CBN Money Transferred To Mrs Emefiele’s Account

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A business relationship manager at Zenith Bank PLC, Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, has provided testimony in a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, detailing the movement of funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to accounts associated with Mrs Margaret Emefiele, wife of former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

Ogbonnaya, the fifth prosecution witness in the trial of Godwin Emefiele and Henry Omoile, testified on charges alleging abuse of office totalling $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.

Led by EFCC’s Prosecutor (SAN) Rotimi Oyedepo, Ogbonnaya informed Justice Rahman Oshodi that despite having no direct dealings with the former CBN governor, she managed transfers amounting to billions from the apex bank to private companies linked to Mrs Emefiele.

These transfers were purportedly payments for services rendered to the CBN.

The witness identified the recipient companies as Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd, Comec Support Services Ltd, Andswin Resources Solution Ltd, and Magofarm.

She indicated that the accounts had two signatories, Mr. Stephen and Mrs Patricia, with all transfer instructions authorized by Mrs Emefiele.

According to Ogbonnaya, instructions for transactions came directly from Mrs Emefiele to her official email address at Zenith Bank or through two other individuals associated with the Emefieles, Mr John Ogah and the late Mr Opeyemi Oludimu.

“Mrs Margaret Emefiele, the ex-CBN governor’s wife, is the direct beneficiary of the accounts. The companies sent transfer instructions to my email, and all transactions made in the accounts were confirmed by Mrs Emefiele before they were processed,” Ogbonnaya stated.

“Whenever she sends transfer instructions directly to my official email address with Zenith Bank or sends it through two other persons that work with them, I usually confirm from her.

“Andswin was basically used to provide diesel to their vendors. Magofarms deals with piggery and poultry. For Comec, they also had facilities for the CBN guest house in Ikoyi.”

The witness further elaborated on the nature of services provided by these companies, including facility management, diesel supply, and agricultural operations related to CBN premises and guest houses.

Ogbonnaya also presented details of specific transactions, such as a cash flow of N42,988,758.75 on February 22, 2021, and other substantial sums received by the accounts from the CBN.

She said, “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.

“The documents were sent to my email and when the investigation started, I was requested to print all the documents for the law enforcement which I did.

I printed them from the office desktop and took them to the compliance officer. I also have certificates confirming that these documents were printed from Zenith Bank.”

She confirmed that she printed documents related to these transactions from her office desktop computer upon request from law enforcement officials investigating the matter.

These documents were subsequently submitted to the compliance officer at Zenith Bank.

In response to the testimony, Justice Oshodi admitted into evidence the certificate of identification and the bundle of printed documents containing transaction records under Mrs Emefiele’s instructions, with no objections from the defence team.

The court also granted a request from Mr. Emefiele’s lawyers to recall the first prosecution witness, Monday Osazuwa, for further cross-examination.

The trial has been adjourned to July 10 for continuation.

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