July 10, 2024

EFCC witness admits Emefiele’s wife not beneficial owner of CBN contractors, companies


At the resumed hearing of the Emefiele case at a Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Abdulrahman Oshodi, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, witness, Mrs. Ifeoma Ogbonnaya has confirmed that Zenith Bank did not obtain any documents designating Mrs. Margaret Emefiele as a beneficial owner of the accounts of Limelight Multidimensional Ltd, Comec Support Services Ltd and Ambswin Resources Ltd.

The witness, who is a graduate of Archeology and Tourism and an account officer at Zenith Bank confirmed this when asked by Mr. Olalekan Ojo, SAN, 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 Multidimensional Ltd, Comec Support Services Ltd and Ambswin Resources Ltd.

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 one Madam Augustina is the signatory and not Mrs. Emefiele.

Further, she was also asked if customer instructions to honour transactions on an account should normally be in writing and she said they were always in writing and confirmed that the instructions the bank must honour were those given by the account holder and none other.

Asked if Zenith Bank follows laid down banking regulations in honouring instructions from its customers, she confirmed ‘yes.’

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

Also asked who the shareholders of Limelight Limited were in the Corporate Affairs Commission documents, her response was Omoile Onuwa and Oriekose Augustina and Ibrahim Taofeek.

Further asked to confirm that from what she read, Mrs. Emefiele was not a shareholder, and whether Mrs. Emefiele was a director in the company, she responded that Margaret Emefiele was not a director and also confirmed that Godwin Emefiele was neither a shareholder nor Director of Limelight Limited.

On the second company, Andswin Limited, she was given the account mandate of the company on pages 69 to 74 of the exhibit A and asked to state the names of the signatories to the account. She answered that the sole signatory was Tina Oroekose.

Also asked if Mrs. Emefiele appear either as Shareholder or Director, she confirmed that Mrs Emefiele was not a shareholder or Director of the company.

Also shown the account opening documents to confirm that the photographs of the signatories, she confirmed that none of the photographs show those of Mrs. Emefiele and Mr. Emefiele.

Further asked if she ever attended any board and/or management meetings of these companies, she responded ‘no.’

On who was the controlling shareholder of Limelight Limited, she said it was Oriekose Augustina and Comec Limited, she confirmed that the controlling shareholder was Olotu Augustina.

After taking a look at Exhibit A, she was asked to confirm if there was any document that shows the names of Margaret Emefiele and Godwin Emefiele as either shareholders/directors or account signatories to the accounts of the companies, her answer was ‘no.’

Asked if she had any inkling that the account documentation had been altered, she said ‘No.’
Also asked if Godwin Emefiele authorised any transactions in the accounts, she said ‘No.’

Asked if she came 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, she answered ‘no.’

The witness was now shown Pages 96 to 101 of exhibit A and asked to confirm that there were credit inflows into Andswin Limited of N13.504million, she confirmed that the narration did not show the money came from CBN.

She also confirmed that another N16million and N14million did not come from the CBN.

On if she recalled making statements before officials of EFCC, she responded ‘yes’ and that she actually made three or four statements.

She was asked to confirm that she made the statements when the facts were fresh in her memory, she said ‘Yes.’

She was asked to confirm that the phone number she dictated to the court was the same as she stated in her statement, she said she couldn’t remember.

Defence counsel asked the witness to confirm that the statements shown her were hers and she confirmed they were hers.

The witness was asked if Godwin Emefiele was in any way a beneficiary of any of funds in the bank statements of the companies under question, she answered ‘no.’

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