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Alleged Abuse Of Office: Court Okays Move To Recall Prosecution Witness In Emefiele’s Trial


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted the request of the defence team to recall the first prosecution witness in the trial of a former governor of the Central Bank (CBN) Godwin Emefiele over allegations of abuse of office

Justice Rahman Oshodi granted the request at the instance of counsel to Emefiele’s co-defendant Kazeem Gbadamosi (SAN).

Gbadamosi had notified the judge of his application dated May 6 and sought the indulgence of the court to recall the first prosecution witness Monday Osazuwa.

On April 12, Osazuwa, a staff of the CBN had narrated in court how the former governor, on different occasions, directed him to collect three million dollars cash in tranches.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) had no objections to the request.

In granting the application, Justice Oshodi said, “In the motion on notice dated May 6 and filed on May 7, the second defence counsel seeks an order to recall the first prosecution witness (PW1)

“The second defence counsel seeks to further cross-examine PWI on matters listed in paragraph 4 D of the affidavit in support of the application.

“The recall was also premised on nine grounds, and the six-paragraph affidavits were filed in support of the application and equally is a written address filed on May 7. The prosecution did not file a rebuttal, and I hereby grant the application.”

After this, the EFCC counsel took the leave of the court to further examine the fourth prosecution witness, a contractor, who had started his evidence in chief on May 9.

The witness Clement Onyejiuwa in continuation of his testimony, told the court that there was an error in his extra-judicial statement regarding the location where the $600,000 was given to the second prosecution witness, a former Director of Information Technology of CBN John Ayoh.

According to him, the sum of $400,000 was given to Ayoh in Lagos while $200,000 was given to him in Abuja.

Under cross-examination by Emefiele’s counsel Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the witness said he wrote the statement in the presence of his lawyer Olukayode Enitan (SAN) but he became aware of the error later.

He confirmed to the court that there were only two errors in his statement and that he was released to his lawyer after he wrote the extra-judicial statement.

“Apart from the two errors, there are no other errors in my statement, but there are omissions because I wrote 2014 to 2018 instead of 2014 to 2020,” he said.

“As a businessman with over 20 years of experience, I know I have a civic duty not to give bribe to anybody and I know that I have duties to report anyone that demands a bribe but I did not report because I was under serious pressure from my partners to pay them.”

The witness also told the court that he didn’t consider what happened as him offering a bribe but instead said he was extorted.

He said, “I did not pay a bribe, it was extortion. I was paid the money in December 2018. Sometime after I had paid the monies demanded by the management through John Ayoh, and upon receiving the money, I paid my partners and they stopped putting pressure on me.”

When asked if he reported to the authorities when the pressure had ceased he said, “Although between 2018 and 2024, when the pressure had gone, I did not report the issue of bribe to EFCC, because it was extortion and that is why I asked whether it was possible for the court to help me recover it.”

When asked if his primary reason for coming to the court was to recover the money paid, he said, “My primary reason for being here is not for the recovery of my money.”

The witness further informed the court that his partners he referred to as putting pressure on him, were not shareholders in his company but were Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).

The witness was further tasked with how he got the money he changed to dollars, and he responded that he put it together from his company’s accounts with several banks.

The witness in response to the cross-examination by the Counsel to the 2nd defendant Adeyinka Kotoye (SAN) stated that he never had any relationship with Emefiele’s co-defendant and had, in fact, never met him.

The court discharged the witness after his testimony and thereafter adjourned to July 9 and 10 for continuation of the trial.


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