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Thursday, 29 September 2016

I didn’t confirm source of $4m Jonathan’s ex-aide gave me – Witness

Ramon Oladimeji

A Bureau De Change operator, Murtala Abubakar, has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he did not confirm the source of the $4m cash given him at the Presidential Villa by a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.

 Abubakar said this on Tuesday when he appeared as a witness before a Federal High Court in Lagos where Dudafa is being prosecuted for money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 Standing trial on 23 counts with Dudafa is Joseph Iwejuo.

 The defendants are being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged concealment, retention of proceeds of crime and failure to give information to the anti-graft agency.

 The witness, Abubakar, had on Monday told the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, that Dudafa gave him cash sums running into N1.6bn through five companies.

 At the resumed trial on Tuesday when he was being cross-examined by Dudafa’s lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole, Abubakar told the court that he had no reason to think that the cash sums given to him by Dudafa to change were from an illegal source.

 Asked by Oyewole if the transactions he did with Dudafa were illegal, Abubakar said, “My Bureau De Change is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. I ensure the people I deal with are not criminals. My transactions with Dudafa were not in contravention of any CBN rules. If we know money is from a question source, we reject it.”

 Abubakar added that he had no reason to question the source of the currencies that Dudafa gave him.

 “I know that he is a public servant. He invited me to the Presidential Villa,” he said.

He added that he had known Dudafa since when the defendant was the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government.

 Abubakar told the court that Dudafa called him through three different mobile lines.

  “He called to ask me how much a pound sterling was to naira,” he said.

 Oyewole, however, said Dudafa did not have three mobile lines.

 Justice Idris adjourned till October 27, 28 and November 8 and 10, 2016 for continuation of trial.

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