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CBN Demanded Bribe For Contract – Witness At Emefiele’s Trial

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CBN Demanded Bribe For Contract – Witness At Emefiele’s Trial

Victor Onyejiuwa, managing director of The Source Computers Limited, testified against Godwin Emefiele, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), before the Lagos High Court.

Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, are currently being tried on a 26-count accusation of abuse of office.

The former CBN governor and Omoile have pleaded not guilty to all allegations.

At the court hearing on Thursday, May 9, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) introduced Onyejiuwa as the fourth witness in Emefiele’s trial.

Onyejiuwa told the court that his company, The Source Computers Limited, assisted the apex bank with information and communication technologies from 2014 to 2019. According to the witness, the CBN awarded his company at least five contracts during that period.

He also stated that his company had a “enterprise storage and servers” deal from the apex bank in 2017. Onyejiuwa alleged that after the deal was signed, he was approached by John Ikechukwu Ayoh, a former director at the apex bank, who stated that “management needs something” from the contract. Onyejiuwa claimed that Ayoh told him that if he didn’t agree, the contract funds would not be approved by management.

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

“He said there was pressure on him. I told him that our payment was being delayed. He told me that if I don’t accede to his request, my payment will 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.

“I was pressured to give the money. I will appreciate it if the money is recovered by the court.”

When asked by the EFCC counsel to specify the amount allotted for the contracts, he stated that the largest contract sum was $1.2 billion in late 2017, when the naira traded at N360/$ on the foreign market.

The witness stated that the CBN handed him contracts worth $2.1 million, N340,000, and N17 million.

Following Onyejiuwa’s testimony, Emefiele’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, requested an adjournment to cross-examine the witness at the next court session.

The trial judge, Rahman Oshodi, delayed the case to May 17 for cross-examination of the witness.

A Gentle Reminder: Every obstacle is a stepping stone, every morning; a chance to go again, and those little steps take you closer to your dream.

Nnamdi Okoli

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