How funds were moved from CBN through Emefiele’s wife – Witness

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By Our Reporter

Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, a business relationship manager with Zenith Bank PLC, testified before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja about how funds were transferred from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Zenith Bank to accounts linked to Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, wife of former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

Ogbonnaya, the fifth prosecution witness, detailed the transactions during the trial of Godwin Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, who are charged with alleged abuse of office involving $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion. Led by EFCC Prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), Ogbonnaya testified before Judge Rahman Oshodi that, while she had no direct dealings with the former CBN governor, multiple transfers totaling billions of naira were made to private companies linked to Mrs. Emefiele.

These transfers were for services rendered by the companies to the CBN. Ogbonnaya listed the recipient companies as Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd, Comec Support Services Ltd, Andswin Resources Solution Ltd, and Magofarm. She also noted that Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Patricia were the signatories to the accounts, but all transfer instructions were authorized by Mrs. Emefiele.

Ogbonnaya revealed that Mrs. Emefiele was the direct beneficiary of the accounts, with transaction instructions sent to her email and confirmed by Mrs. Emefiele before processing. Additionally, she received instructions from Mr. John Ogah and the late Mr. Opeyemi Oludimu, who worked for Emefiele.

The witness explained the roles of the companies: Limelight managed CBN facilities in Lagos, Andswin provided diesel to vendors, Magofarms dealt with piggery and poultry, and Comec managed the CBN guest house in Ikoyi.

Ogbonnaya provided details of specific transactions, including a cash flow of N42,988,758.75 on February 22, 2021, N37,279,964.70 on July 21, 2022, N44,641,077.60 on October 21, 2022, and N93,100,000 on May 10, 2023.

She stated that she printed the transaction documents from her desktop computer for the investigation and provided them to the compliance officer, along with certificates confirming the authenticity of the documents from Zenith Bank.

The court admitted the certificate of identification and the bundle of printed documents as evidence, with no objections from the defense. Judge Oshodi also granted a request by Emefiele’s lawyers to recall the first prosecution witness, Monday Osazuwa, for further cross-examination.

The trial was adjourned until July 10 for continuation.