Disclosure News

Factual Reportage

On Monday, an Ikeja Special Offences Court heard from John Ayoh, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director in Charge of Information and Technology, how he collected $600,000 from two contractors on behalf of the bank’s CEO, Godwin Emefiele.

Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the counsel for Emefiele (1st defendant), cross-examined Ayoh in front of Justice Rahman Oshodi.

The former CBN governor previously contested the court’s jurisdiction to trial him for abuse of office and the alleged multibillion-dollar fraud against him.

In his move on notice filed April 24, Ojo contended that the court lacked the constitutional jurisprudence to examine the charges against Emefiele.

He said: “There is need to consider jurisdictional objection before allowing this case. “This defendant ought not to be arraigned before this court on constitutional grounds. We are saying that charges against the first defendant are unconstitutional.

“I urge your lordship to toe the path of legality and constitutionality to determine this application.”

Kazeem Gbadamosi, counsel to the 2nd defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoili, aligned with Ojo submission.

He said: “The foundation has been laid. I do not see how I can depart from the submission of my learned brother. I urge the court to take appropriate position on jurisdiction before going into the matter.”

Responding to their submission, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) urged the court to ignore the submission of the counsels to defendants but to toe the path of legality.

“It is illegal and unconstitutional for this court to prevent the trial of this case or refer trial of the case on the basis of objection challenging the particulars of information under cloth of unconstitutionality,” he argued.

Citing Section 1 of ACJA, he said the intention of the defence was to prevent, or delay conduct of criminal trial.

“It is in that context that section 374 of ACJA was enacted,” he said.

However, Justice Oshodi deferred ruling on the matter till a later date.

Justice Oshodi ruled that the first – eighth defendants would henceforth give evidences in public glare.

The ruling of the court followed the withdrawal of an application filed earlier by Oyedepo on the arraignment of Emefiele.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Oshodi held: “This application to have trial in camera is now struck out having been withdrawn. The matter is now to be conducted in the full public glare.”

Thereafter Ayoh, who is the second Prosecution Witness (PW2) told the court that he did not work directly under the first defendant.

He said he used to report to a former Deputy Governor of CBN, Adebayo Adelabu (now a Minister of Power), between 2014 and 2019 when he worked with the CBN.

The witness, who was Head of Procurement and Support Services (PSS), vested with powers to receive applications for award of contract to select successful bidders told the court that the first envelope containing $400,000 was brought to his house in Lekki.

He admitted sending his home address at Lekki and phone number to the person, named Adetona, that brought the envelope to him through his WhatsApp platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *