‘Money illegally moved to finance Jonathan campaign in 2015’
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has been told that N4.6 billion was allegedly transferred into a Joint Trust account to finance the campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The prosecution witness and an investigating officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Shehu Shuaibu, made the submission, yesterday, while testifying before Justice Daniel Osiagor in an ongoing trial of erstwhile Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, ex-Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and two others.
The defendants are being tried for alleged money laundering and other fraud related offences.
However, under cross-examination by Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), counsel to the first defendant (Nenadi Usman), the witness stated that his team, from the Special Task Force of the EFCC, did not invite ex-President Jonathan throughout their investigation.
He admitted that Usman was Director of Finance, President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, while the second defendant, Fani-Kayode, was Director, Media and Publicity of the organisation.
When asked why he did not invite President Jonathan to confirm or deny if the money paid into the account was expended for his campaign or not, the witness responded: “We did not invite him, since the President was not the one that expended the money.”
He went on: “To the best of my knowledge, I do not know whether those that transferred money into the Joint Trust Account were charged to court or not. I am not a lawyer, and would not know why they have not been charged before the court.”
The witness further disclosed that the money was paid from the State House to the NEA Account, before it was transferred into the Joint Trust account.
The testifier said the money was paid by Permanent Secretary, State House, Nebolisa Emodi, who was invited for Interrogation by his team but not charged to court.
There was controversy when asked to name those that stole the money the defendants are facing trial over. He said during his investigation, he did not investigate the defendants for stealing, hence would not know if they stole the money or not.
But lawyer to the second defendant, Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), confronted the witness with a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the proceedings before Justice Rilwanu Aikawa, who was handling the case before being transferred out of Lagos, where the witness stated that the money was stolen.
He responded thus: “I did not investigate any stolen money and I never used the word stolen. What I said was that the money was fraudulently transferred.”