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How I released N500m to Ex-Ondo PDP Chieftains, by EFCC witness

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[FILE PHOTO] EFCC

A prosecution witness for the Economic and Crimes Commission (EFCC), Owolanke Michael yesterday, narrated before a Federal High Court, Lagos, how Ondo State Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains allegedly received the sum of N500 million cash from Fidelity Bank, Ado Owo Road, Akure during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

The witness was testifying before Justice Saliu Saidu at the ongoing trial of the Chairman, Ondo State PDP, Clement Faboyede and Modupe Adetokunbo, a former Director-General, Goodluck Jonathan/Namadi Sambo 2015 presidential election council.

The defendants are facing a three-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N500 million levelled against them by the anti-graft agency.

Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho yesterday, Michael told the court that while being Head of Operations in a bank at Akure, his supervisors from Lagos gave him instructions to pay the defendants the sum of N500 million.

He explained that the defendants signed a receipt and dropped their means of identification before packing the money into “Ghana Must Go” bags and loaded it in two Hilux vehicles. 

The prosecution counsel tendered through the witness the acknowledged receipts by the defendants and the means of identification used to receive the money. These were admitted and marked as exhibits CF1.

But when asked by defence counsel, Mr. John Odubela (SAN) why the acknowledged receipt had no logo or stamp from the bank, the witness explained that the receipt was made for the purpose of that particular transaction as the defendants where not customers.

At the conclusion of his testimony, the matter was adjourned to April 4, 2019 for continuation of trial.

The anti-graft agency had on June last year arraigned the defendants for alleged laundering N500 million.

But the defendants pleaded not guilty and were subsequently, admitted to bail.

The EFCC claimed that the defendants received a cash sum of N500m from Michael in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

Faboyede was accused of making N500m cash payment to the Ondo State Election Committee of the PDP without going through any financial institution.

EFCC prosecutor, Iheanacho, said the defendants committed the offence on March 27, 2015, adding that they acted contrary to Section 18 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and are liable to punishment under Section 16(2) of the same Act.


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