Zenith Bank official tells court how ex-CBN governor Emefiele moved funds to wife

Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, an assistant manager at Zenith Bank Plc, took the stand at the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday as the fifth prosecution witness in a case brought forth by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

She provided comprehensive insights into how the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, allegedly orchestrated the transfer of funds to his wife, Margaret Emefiele, using various companies.

Ogbonnaya, who has been with the bank since 2006 and also served as a business relationship manager, testified that she received explicit instructions from Margaret Emefiele to move substantial sums of money from CBN into accounts held by private entities associated with the Emefieles.

These companies, she detailed, included 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 were consistently handled by the vendors,” Ogbonnaya elaborated during her testimony.

She proceeded to provide specific instances of these transactions, citing cash flows ranging from N18.9 million to N93.1 million from CBN into the accounts between March 2015 and May 2023.

Ogbonnaya affirmed that Margaret Emefiele was the direct beneficiary of these funds, authorizing transactions through email instructions sent directly to her Zenith Bank account.

During the court proceedings, the prosecution presented bundles of documents meticulously detailing these transactions.

These documents were subsequently admitted into evidence following no objections from the defence counsels.

Ogbonnaya further clarified the communication protocols with Margaret Emefiele and the rigorous documentation procedures involved, emphasizing that all records were diligently printed and submitted to law enforcement agencies upon request.

While the defence counsels did not contest the admissibility of the documents, they raised objections when Ogbonnaya attempted to recall specific details using her mobile phone during cross-examination.

Justice Rahman Oshodi sustained the objections, and the court adjourned the proceedings until July 10 to allow for further deliberations.

Godwin Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile-Isioma, were formally charged with offenses including abuse of office, receiving gratifications, and other corrupt practices.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, setting the stage for ongoing legal proceedings


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