An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness yesterday told the Federal High Court the names of two persons it alleged diverted the Federal Government’s N4.6 billion to the 2015 presidential campaign of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Shehu Shuaibu, an EFCC investigator, alleged that the then Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi, and one Mr. Dandisu Abubakar – both engineers – conspired and fraudulently transferred the funds.
Shuaibu disclosed this during the continuation of the trial of former Finance Minister, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, and two others over alleged money laundering and other fraud-related offences.
The N4.6b is the subject of the defendants’ trial before Justice Daniel Osiagor.
Under cross-examination by the defendant’s lawyers, Shuaibu explained that the circumstances surrounding the transfer of the funds are still under a separate investigation.
“The issue of fraudulent transactions of N4.6 billion is still under investigation. I am not a lawyer but an investigator,” he stated.
On whether the result of his investigation formed part of what was submitted to the legal department of the EFCC, the witness stated that he was not the head of the investigation team, hence would not know what was submitted.
Asked whether during interrogation, the first defendant, Usman informed him that as Director, President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, she was told to expect funds from various individuals and private organisations, the witness answered in affirmative.
The witness also confirmed that from exhibit 8, (Statement of Account), it was obvious that different individuals and private organisations transferred money into the campaign organisation.
While being cross-examined by Mr. Norrison Quakers, SAN, counsel to the second defendant (Fani-Kayode), the witness claimed that a Nigerian oil magnate, Emeka Offor transferred the sum of N500 million into the campaign organisation.
He also confirmed that on the 11th of January 2015, the sums of N500 million, N250 million, N100 million, N180 million, and N30 million were transferred by various individuals and organisations into the Joint Trust Account used for the campaign.
The witness also confirmed that on February 19, 2015, the sums of N500 million, N205 million, N21 million, and N9.7million were also paid into the account.
He said between January 7 and March 20, 2015, the sums of N300 million and N400 million were deposited into the account.
Justice Osiagor adjourned further hearings till January 25th and 26th, 2023.
Usman and Fani-Kayode are standing trial alongside a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
The EFCC had earlier preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6 billion money laundering against them before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
The defendants pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.
Hearing began before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were being led in evidence before the judge was transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.
The case was subsequently assigned to Justice Osaigor and started afresh.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.
They were alleged to have at various times unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.
In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.
The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.
The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.