Zenith Bank Official Testifies: Ex-CBN Governor Emefiele Allegedly Moved Funds to Wife

Zenith Bank Official Testifies: Ex-CBN Governor Emefiele Allegedly Moved Funds to Wife

An assistant manager at Zenith Bank Plc, Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, provided detailed testimony in the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday, alleging that former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, utilized the bank to transfer significant sums to his wife, Margaret Emefiele.

According to reports, Ms. Ogbonnaya, the fifth prosecution witness led by EFCC Counsel Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), recounted how Mr. Emefiele allegedly orchestrated the movement of millions through Zenith Bank to various companies linked to his wife, including Amswing Resources and Solution, Limelight Dimensional Service Ltd., Omec Support Service Ltd., and Mango Farm.

“Limelight manages the facilities of CBN, located at Alakija, and all transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working was always done by the vendors,” she stated.

The witness, who also served as a business relationship manager, joined Zenith Bank in 2006. She testified that she received instructions from Mrs. Emefiele and other associates of Mr. Emefiele to transfer funds from CBN into their private companies through Zenith Bank accounts.

She detailed specific transactions, including cash flows from CBN into these accounts, ranging from millions to tens of millions of naira, over various dates from 2015 to 2023.

Ms. Ogbonnaya emphasized that all transactions were allegedly approved by Mrs. Emefiele before processing, either directly through email or via authorized representatives. She confirmed printing and submitting documents related to these transactions for law enforcement purposes.

During the court session, the prosecution tendered bundles of documents detailing these transactions, which were admitted into evidence without objection from the defense.

Mr. Emefiele’s defense counsels, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN) and Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi (SAN), did not contest the admissibility of the documents.

The trial, which began on April 8, 2023, sees Mr. Emefiele facing 23 counts of alleged abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained, and conferring corrupt advantage. His co-defendant, Henry Omoile-Isioma, faces three counts related to accepting gifts as an agent.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty. The case is set to continue on July 10, 2023, as Justice Rahman Oshodi granted further adjournment.


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