“I collected dollars in cash for Emefiele”, dispatch testifies in court

Sharon EboesomiApril 14, 20245 min

Osazuwa narrated how he had helped Emefiele pick up $1m, $850,000, $750,000, $400,000 on different occasions.

“I collected dollars in cash for Emefiele”, dispatch testifies in court

In the ongoing trial concerning alleged abuse of office, Monday Osazuwa, an employee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has testified against Godwin Emefiele, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

At the high court in Ikeja, Lagos, Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, are presently on trial for a 26-count accusation. Nonetheless, the duo pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

OrderPaper recalls that Emefiele is currently on trial for suspected charges of abuse of office and fraud totaling $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion. Previously, Judge Oshodi had given Emefiele N50 million in bail with two sureties in the same amount.

In his view, the sureties needed to have three years of tax payments with the Lagos State Government in addition to a productive employment.

Also, Oshodi stated that the sureties needed to register in the Lagos State Bail Management System and present valid identity.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) attorney, Rotimi Oyedepo, called Osazuwa as the prosecution’s first witness at the hearing on Friday.

In testimony before the Special Offences Court in Lagos, Osazuwa described how Emefiele gave him instructions on several occasions to pick up $3 million cash in parts.

According to him, he had been a dispatch rider at Zenith Bank since 2001 while Emefiele held the position of Managing Director.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s economy in a mess due to Emefiele’s policies – Akpabio 

Before joining Emefiele at the CBN in 2014, Osazuwa stated that he was acquainted with him (Emefiele), his supervisor, for whom he had performed errands during his time at Zenith Bank.

Osazuwa said, “He (Emefiele) usually communicates with me through WhatsApp. I see him when he comes to Lagos.

“I was still working in the governor’s office when I was appointed a full-time staff member, and we usually communicated through WhatsApp and email.

“My role as a senior supervisor is recording and filing. The other assignment, he (Emefiele) gives me, is to carry out certain messages and errands for him.

“I could recall that, in 2020, when he was outside Lagos, Emefiele called me and gave me a number that a man had something I would collect from him, and that the man would give me the number of another person.

“When I got to the man’s office, I was given an envelope. I counted the money (in it), and was told to give it to my boss.”

According to him, any time Emefiele was not around, he would tell him (Osazuwa) to give the money to Henry Omoile.

While he was still at Zenith Bank, Osazuwa claimed, Emefiele sent him to MINL Limited.

He added, “This company is situated at Isolo. The first defendant(Emefiele) do send me to collect cheques from the company from Mr. Monday, and when I collect the cheque from Mr. Monday, I would give it back to Emefiele, and he would lodge the money into the account of Dummies Oil and Gas.”

“Whenever I received the money and took it to my boss’ residence, Mr Emefiele would tell me to give it to the second defendant (Omoile) whenever he was not home.

“I did not keep a record of the transactions, because he instructed me that I should collect the money and bring it to his house.

“The highest amount I collected was $1m, all in cash. Some weeks later, the businessman also called me, and I collected $850,000, $750,000, and $400,000 in cash in different tranches.

“I have never been rewarded, paid, or given anything. I was doing it out of faithfulness, and he knows it, but he never for once said, ‘Take this,’” the witness said.

The judge thereafter adjourned the case till April 29, 2024, for trial and the hearing of an application for a closed section.

Sharon Eboesomi

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