• Monday, July 22, 2024
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EFCC witness admits that Emefiele’s wife is not the beneficial owner of CBN contractors/companies

At the resumed hearing of the case against former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele at Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice ABDULRAHMAN Oshodi, the EFCC presented Mrs Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, a graduate of Archeology and Tourism and an account officer at Zenith Bank.

The witness was asked by Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the counsel to the defendant, if the bank, in compliance with regulatory requirements, obtained the documents and/or board resolution designating Mrs Emefiele as a beneficial owner of the accounts of Limelight, Comec, and Answin limited.

She confirmed that Zenith Bank did not obtain any documents designating Mrs Emefiele as a beneficial owner of the accounts in question.

The witness was further asked if Mrs Emefiele was named in the account opening mandate, to sign banking instructions on the accounts that constitute the subject matter of this charge.

She responded that a woman identified as Madam Augustina was the signatory and NOT Mrs Emefiele. When asked if Customer instructions to honour transactions on an account should normally be in writing, she responded with a confirmation that they are always in writing.

Following the previous questions, she was asked to confirm that the instructions the banks must honour are those given by the account holder and none other and if Zenith Bank follows laid down banking regulations in honouring instructions from its customers, her response was yes.

She was given the account opening package of Limelight Limited beginning from pages 3 to 48 to confirm the signatories of the company, and she confirmed that the signatories are Stephen Ogwa and Patricia Esan.

Out of curiosity, the counsel to the defendant inquired who the shareholders of Limelight Limited are in the Corporate Affairs Commission documents, to which she responded, stating that Omoile Augustina Onuwa Oriekose Augustina and Ibrahim Taofeek are the shareholders.

The witness, Ifeoma Ogbonnaya revealed that from what she read, Margaret Emefiele is not a director, neither is Godwin Emefiele a shareholder or a Director of Limelight Limited.

As regards the second company known as Andswin Limited, she was given the account mandate of the company on pages 69 to 74 of exhibit A and was asked to state the names of the signatories to the account. She replied saying that the sole signatory was Tina Oroekose.

Ifeoma confirmed that Mrs Emefiele is not a Shareholder, nor is she a Director of the company.

The witness was shown the account opening documents to confirm the photographs of the signatories and her confirmation revealed that none of the photographs show those of Mrs Emefiele and Mr Godwin Emefiele.

The witness was further asked if she ever attended any board and/or Management meetings of these companies, in her response, she said NO.

She was asked if she was the controlling shareholder of Limelight Limited, and she said no, but Oriekose Augustina is.

For Comec Limited, she confirmed that the controlling shareholder is Olotu Augustina. Having looked through Exhibit A.

She confirmed that no document shows the names of Margaret Emefiele and Godwin Emefiele as either shareholders/Directors of account signatories to the accounts of the Companies.

Ifeoma revealed that there she had no inkling that the account documentation had been altered and Godwin Emefiele did not authorise any transactions in the accounts. She stated that she did not come across any documents showing that the shares of any of the three companies were being held in trust for Margaret Emefiele and/or Godwin Emefiele.

The witness was shown Pages 96 to 101 of Exhibit A, with a request to confirm that there were credit inflows into Andswin limited of N13.504m, of which she confirmed that the narration did not show the money came from CBN, neither did a N16million naira alongside another N14 million naira come from the CBN.

She confirmed that she recalled making statements before officials of EFCC, specifically mentioning that she made 3 or 4 statements. In addition to this, she also confirmed that she made the statements when the facts were fresh in her memory, while also telling the court that she couldn’t recollect if the phone number she dictated to the court was the same as the one she put down in her statement.

Lekan Ojo, SAN asked the witness to confirm that the statements shown to her were hers and she confirmed, saying yes, as she added that Godwin Emefiele was not in any way a beneficiary to any of the funds in the bank statements of the companies under question.