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Emefiele’s trial continues as court admits documents against him

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ARINZE NWAFOR, Lagos

The trial of the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, continued on Thursday with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tendering bundles of documents to nail him.

The EFCC tendered bundles of documents from the hands of the third prosecution witness, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank, Clement Ngolu, to be admitted in evidence against Emefiele who is charged with abuse of office, alleged $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud.

Justice Rahman Oshodi admitted the documents which included original copies of a Zenith Bank account opening package and statements of account of Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd into evidence following the application by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN.

The first defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, and the second defence counsel, Adeyinka Kotoye, SAN, did not object to the admission of the documents as evidence.

The Zenith Bank compliance officer, Ngolu told the court that his department works with the EFCC, ICPC, NSCDC and Police to ensure that the bank’s activities are in line with bank policies and regulations.

He said the EFCC had in 2014 requested the statements of the account of Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd and two other accounts, and his office complied with the request.

Ngolu told the court that Zenith Bank’s staff signed the documents they handed to the EFCC and that the computer system used in generating them was in good condition at the time.

The defence had no question for Ngolu.

The further cross-examination of the second prosecution witness John Ayoh, a former CBN Director of Information Technology continued as the defence questioned him about his relationship with the first defendant, Emefiele.

Ayoh told the court that he clashed with Emefiele following the latter asking him to carry out a task he considered to be wrong.

Emefiele’s counsel, Ojo asked Ayoh if he had a good relationship with the former CBN governor and the witness said he became a pariah at the CBN management.

He confirmed that Emefiele and his allies in the bank sidelined him following their clash.

Ayoh said although he became unpopular with the former CBN governor, he still would sign contract letters to vendors for Emefiele.

The fourth witness, a contractor, told the court he was allegedly pressured by the management of the CBN to pay a $600,000 bribe for a contract which he had executed.

In his evidence on April 29, 2024, the second witness, Ayoh told the court how he collected $600,000 which was allegedly for contract gratification for Emefiele.

The judge, Oshodi adjourned the case until May 17 for the continuation of the trial.

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