See How Ex CBN Gov, Emefiele Moved Funds From CBN Into Wife’s Account


See How Ex CBN Gov, Emefiele Moved Funds From CBN Into Wife’s Account

Emefiele Accused of Diverting CBN Funds to Wife’s Account


Mrs. Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, an Assistant Manager at Zenith Bank Plc, provided testimony in an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday regarding the alleged diversion of funds by Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Ogbonnaya detailed how Emefiele transferred multimillion-naira sums to his wife, Mrs. Margaret Emefiele.


Emefiele is currently facing charges of abuse of office and alleged fraud amounting to $4.5 billion and ₦2.8 billion during his tenure.


Led by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), Ogbonnaya, the fifth prosecution witness, explained how Emefiele used Zenith Bank to funnel large sums of money to his wife via multiple companies.


Ogbonnaya identified the companies involved in these transactions as Amswing Resources and Solution, Limelight Dimensional Service Ltd., Omec Support Service Ltd., and Mango Farm. “Limelight manages the facilities of CBN, located at Alakija and all transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working was always done by the vendors,” she explained.


Having joined Zenith Bank in 2006 and also serving as a Business Relationship Manager, Ogbonnaya stated that she never interacted directly with Emefiele but received instructions from his wife to transfer funds from the CBN to their private companies through Zenith Bank accounts.


In addition to Mrs. Emefiele, Ogbonnaya also received instructions from two other individuals, Mr. John Ogah and Mr. Opeyemi Oludimu, both of whom worked for Emefiele but are now deceased.


The witness further described managing the accounts through which the multimillion-naira transactions were processed. “Mrs. Margaret Emefiele is the direct beneficiary of the accounts. The companies sent transfer instructions to my email, and Margaret is the beneficial owner of the accounts. All transactions made in the accounts were confirmed by Mrs. Emefiele before they were processed,” Ogbonnaya noted.


Ogbonnaya provided specific transaction details, including cash flows from March 9 to 11, 2015, amounting to ₦18.9 million and ₦1.8 million respectively, and subsequent transfers on February 22, 2021 (₦43 million), July 21, 2022 (₦37.3 million), October 21, 2022 (₦44.6 million), and May 10, 2023 (₦93.1 million) from the CBN.


Communication regarding these transactions was conducted through email, phone calls, and WhatsApp. Ogbonnaya revealed that the transaction documents were printed from her office desktop and handed over to law enforcement when the investigation began.


The prosecution presented these transaction documents as evidence in court. Emefiele’s defense, represented by Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN) and Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi (SAN), did not object to their admissibility, leading the court to accept them as evidence.


Additionally, Ogbonnaya was requested to write down the phone number used for communication with Mrs. Emefiele on an A4 paper, which was also admitted as evidence, despite her inability to recall the full number from memory.


Justice Rahman Oshodi, who is presiding over the case, had previously allowed the recall of the first prosecution witness, Monday Osazuwa, upon the request of the second defense counsel. Emefiele, who was arraigned on April 8 on 23 counts including abuse of office and corruption, and his co-defendant Henry Omoile-Isioma, who faces three counts of accepting gifts as an agent, have both pleaded not guilty.


The trial has been adjourned until July 10 for further proceedings.


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