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“Emefiele collects bribe before awarding contracts” – Former CBN staff testifies in court


The second prosecution witness, a former Director of Information Technology of the Central Bank of Nigeria, John Ayoh, has told the Lagos High Court Sitting in Ikeja that former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, allegedly collected bribes before awarding contracts.

Ayoh said this on Monday, April 29, while testifying before Justice Rahman Oshodi in the ongoing trial of the former Central Bank Governor on allegations of abuse of office and accepting gratification to the tune of $4.5bn and N2.8bn.

Ayoh said, “That is how he operates, he will not award contracts without collecting anything”.

While being led in evidence by Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness narrated how he collected some monies on behalf of the former CBN Governor.

He said that the first money he collected was $400,000 which Emefiele’s assistant, John Adetola, came to his house in Lekki to collect for Emefiele.

Ayoh also told the court that he collected for Emefiele the sum of $200,000, which was brought by one of the CBN contractors to the headquarters of the bank at its office in Tinubu, Lagos Island.

He said that the money was contained in an envelope and when the person who came to deliver the funds, one Victor, was on the premises of the Bank, he (Ayoh) called the governor (Emefiele), who told him to collect the money from the vendor as he did not want to see any third party.

Ayoh said when he went into the office to deliver the package after collecting it, he saw several Bank CEOs including the late Hebert Wigwe, who were waiting outside the office of the governor to see him.

While answering questions under cross-examination from Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olalekan Ojo, who represented the former CBN Governor, the witness denied that he had ever been a party to any crime but admitted that he had facilitated the commission of a crime unknowingly.

He said, “I believe I did admit in my statement that I was forced to commit the crime.

“I don’t know the exact word I used in my statement, but I said we were all forced with tremendous pressure to bend the rules.”

The witness also admitted that he did not write in his statement to the EFCC that the monies were given to influence the award of contracts.

However, he added “that this is how he (Emefiele) operates. He will not award contracts without collecting anything”.

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