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Witness Narrates How He Paid $600,000 Bribe To Emefiele-Led CBN

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A contractor, the managing director of The Source Computers Limited, Mr Victor Onyejiuwa, has told the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja how he was pressured to pay $600,000 for the award of a contract.

Onyejiuwa, who was led in evidence by the Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that his company offers services to both private and public enterprises.

He said his company deploys hardware and software-tailored solutions that address Security, Network, Storage, Backup Solutions, Data Protection and Recovery, Virtualization, Data Center Solutions, ICT Training & Education Services and a host of other ICT needs.

The witness said that his company also offers services mostly to Banks. He listed First Bank, Sterling Bank, and some Oil and Gas companies as his clients.

The witness also told the court that his company, Source Computers Limited, provided information and communication technologies assistance to the apex bank between 2014 and 2019.

The witness said his company was awarded at least five contracts within the stipulated period.

He added that sometime in 2017, his company was awarded an “enterprise storage and servers” contract by the CBN.

The contractor said after the contract was executed by his company, he was approached by John Ayoh, a former director at the CBN who testified as the second prosecution witness that the “management needs something” from the contract.

Onyejiuwa said Ayoh told him that if he did not accede, the funds meant for the contract would be delayed by the apex bank.

“After the contract had been executed, I was accosted by Mr John, saying the management was requesting something from the transaction,” he said.

“He said there was pressure on him. I told him that our payment was being delayed. He told me that if I didn’t accede to his request, my payment would not be approved.

“After several back and forth, for him to see reasons with me, on why I needed to get paid, and my obligations with my partners, I succumbed to his pressure.

“I was able to organise the sum of $400k and $200k to facilitate payment of the contract funds. Within two or three weeks after, payment was made. That is what happened”, the witness said.

When asked by Oyedepo to mention the amount that was allocated to the contracts executed for the CBN, he said that the highest contract sum was $1.2 bn in 2017 and late 2018 when the naira traded at N360/$ 1.

He also told the court that there were other small payments of N24m and N17m.

After Onyejiuwa’s testimony, Counsel to Emefiele, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olalekan Ojo, asked for an adjournment to enable him cross-examine the witness at the next court sitting.

Justice Oshodi adjourned the case till May 17, 2024, for cross examination of the witness and for continuation of trial.

Earlier in the day, the second prosecution witness John Ayoh, while concluding his cross-examination, told the court that on November 26, 2014, he had a confrontation with Emefiele because he refused to do something wrong.

He said,” I walked out of his office and said he should sack me if he wanted to”.

When asked what he meant by doing something wrong, Ayoh said that Emefiele wanted him to approach vendors and ask them for gratification but that he refused.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=95665

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