By Daniel Alejoh
An official of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Timothy Olaobaju, on Monday, narrated however a former Minister of crude oil Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, stashed a total of $115,010,000 within the bank with future directions to convert it to Nigerian monetary unit and be distributed among people within the thirty six states of the federation.
Among the beneficiaries, Olaobaju aforementioned, were a Senior Advocate of African country, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National designing, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, WHO each received N450m within the run-up to the 2015 general elections.
Olaobaju aforementioned this on weekday once he appeared as a prosecution witness before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal court in Lagos, wherever Belgore and Sulaiman ar being tried for alleged concealment involving N450m.
The Economic and money Crimes Commission charged Belgore and Sulaiman with 5 counts.
Charged beside the SAN and also the ex-minister is Diezani, WHO is claimed to “still be at massive.”
The EFCC had earlier arraigned Belgore and Sulaiman on February eight, 2017, however they were re-arraigned on weekday on AN amended charge, wherever the name of Diezani appeared joined of the defendants.
Upon their re-arraignment on weekday, Belgore and Sulaiman pleaded clean-handed to the 5 charges even asthey’d earlier done.
Trial commenced forthwith when the defendants’ plea with the EFCC job Olaobaju as its initial witness.
Led conspicuous by the EFCC public prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness aforementioned, “Sometime in April 2014, our MD, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, gave a directive that sure firms ANd people would pay into an account with our bank some amounts of cash. the aim of the payment wasn’t disclosed.
“Over the amount, thereafter, some amounts were paid into the account. The funds were deposited in greenbacks. The total total was $115,010,000.
“On March twenty seven, 2015, there was AN instruction from the previous crude oil Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, through our MD, that the funds within the account ought to be born-again to Nigerian monetary unit and paid to sure people of that the list of beneficiaries was sent to our MD and also the quantity to be paid to them in Nigerian monetary unit.
“The funds were paid according to Alison-Madueke’s directions.
“On the list sent to our branch, the names of the defendants (Belgore and Sulaiman) were thereon list as a result ofthe cash was paid in concerning thirty six states of the federation.
“The defendants aren’t customers of our bank.
“The directions were that the total of N450m ought to be paid to Mr. Dele Belgore (SAN) and faculty member. Abubakar Sulaiman.
“They each received the cash and that they stuffed the Receipt of Payment as proof of receipt of the cash and acknowledgment of same.”
The witness aforementioned Belgore and Sulaiman signed separate Receipts of Payment for constant N450 on March twenty six, 2015.
The court admitted each Receipts of Payment conspicuous and marked them as Exhibits one and 1A.
Asked by the public prosecutor whether or not any cheque was issued in favour of Belgore and Sulaiman in respect of the fund, the witness answered within the negative.
Asked whether or not the N450m was attributable into any account, the witness aforementioned, “To my information, the N450m wasn’t attributable into any account.”
For the examination of the witness, Belgore’s professional, Chief Ebun Shofunde (SAN), asked for AN adjournment, stressing that almost all of what the witness aforementioned on weekday weren’t within the proof of proof front-loaded and served on the defence counsel.
Sulaiman’s professional, Mr. Olatunji Ayanlaja (SAN), aligned himself with Shofunde.
The public prosecutor aforementioned he would grudgingly fancy to AN adjournment until Tuesday seeable of his respect for the defence counsel.
Justice Aikawa consequently adjourned the matter until Tuesday for additional proceedings.
In the charges, Sulaiman, a academic of government and diplomacy at the University of national capital, and Belgore, a former situation aspirant in Kwara State, were defendant of conspiring between themselves to commit the offence on March twenty seven, 2015.
The pair were defendant of constructing a money group action of N450m on March twenty seven, 2015, while not prying any institution.
The EFCC claimed that the defendants paid N50m to 1 law officer Shagaya.
The EFCC aforementioned the money total was on top of the lawful threshold allowable by the cash wash (Prohibition) Act.
Justice Aikawa had earlier granted them bail on self security.