Hearing in the trial of Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and one Iwejuo Nna Joseph, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, continued today, with the former aide denying having anything to do with the Office of National Security Adviser or Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Dudafa and his co-accused, Iwejuo, were on June 11, 2016, arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 23-count charge of conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to N1.6 billion.
At the resumed trial of the defendants before Justice Mohammed Idris today, while being led in evidence in-Chief by his lawyer, Mr.Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), told the court that throughout his period as Senior Special Assistant to the former President, he never had any interaction with the Office of NSA or the person of NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
He also stated that he has no relationship whatsoever with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or any other government officials, but only look after the residence of the former President and running errand for him.
Dudafa also denied the conspiracy and concealment charge brought against them by the EFCC on the alleged N1.6 billion fraud.
He added that he did not to fill the Assets Declaration Form while in EFCC custody due to the commission’s refusal to state the nature of his offence, nor given him adequate time as well as the denial of his right to legal representative.
‘I did to fill the Asset Declaration Form, because I was not a public officer as i was not receiving salary from the public accounts I was only acting in personal capacity
when i was appointed by former President Jonathan as his Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs. ” he said.
The former aide also denied the conspiracy and concealment charge, saying “I did not conspired to conceal any money, as the sources of the money is clear. I had no intention whatsoever to hide anything, it is circumstances that I found myself.
Dudafa further told the court that the payments made were parts of the donations made by Prince Arthur Eze to Otueke Anglican Communion, for the building of Saint Stephen Deaconry and Youth Development Centre, in Bayelsa State.
” I have being in the fast food business, ‘De Jakes Fast Food’ , even before my appointment, my company’s daily turnover as at 2005 to 2011, was between N5 to N7 million daily.
However, under cross-examination by EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the defendant confirmed that he received a cumulative total sum of $10 million from Prince Arthur Eze, in the presence of the former President, between 2013 and 2015 towards the church projects.
He insisted that the proceeds of the donations for the church projects were paid into private companies’ accounts and that it was meant for the development of the church projects, the building of Deaconry of Saint Stephen Anglican Communion, and the Youth Development Centre, Otueke.
The defendant also denied knowing one Jide Ofor, who was alleged to have paid the sum N41.85 million into an account.
When asked of his relationship with some companies alleged to have made payments for his house at Chevron Estate, Lekki, Lagos, Dudafa said ” I don’t have any house there, the only house I have is in Lagos is in Sangotedo, Lekki -Ajah axis of the state.
The defendant again reinstated his earlier claim that the statements he made while in the custody of the anti-graft agency, were made under duress, as he was made to understand that making the statements remain the only option to guaranty his freedom after being detained for 60 days.
Meanwhile, further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till Friday for continuation of cross-examination.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that the two accused persons, between June 2013 and June 2015, used different companies to fraudulently launder the money.
N1.6bn Linked To Me Was Donated For Church Building -Ex Jonathan Aide