How I delivered $70m to banker on Diezani’s instructions, says Witness

How I delivered $70m to banker on Diezani’s instructions, says Witness

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A former Group General Manager in charge of Crude Oil Marketing in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr Rotimi Oyeyepo has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, presided over by Justice Muslim Hassan how he delivered 12 bags containing $70 million cash to an Abuja-based banker on the instruction of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The ex-NNPC boss, who is an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, prosecution witness in the going trial of a former Executive Director, an old generation bank, Dauda Lawal, further claimed that he delivered money to the Abuja banker, one Charles, in the front of Dume Supermarket in Abuja.

The former bank boss, Lawal is being prosecuted before the court on money laundering charges.

He was alleged to have handled  $25 million out of a total of $153 million, which Mrs. Alison-Madueke allegedly doled out to influence the 2015 general election.

The ex-NNPC GM, while being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, said he personally delivered the cash loaded in bags to the Abuja banker, one Charles, in the front of Dume Supermarket in Abuja.

He told the court: “As I can remember, shortly before the 2015 elections, it was the norm for heads of subsidiaries (of the NNPC) to be invited for undisclosed briefing of activities of their departments to the minister.

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“At the end of such briefings, the then Minister of Petroleum Resources,  Alison-Madueke, gave me a GSM number in respect of one Charles, whom I had never met, with a clear instruction that I should convey 12 padlocked bags to the said Charles.

“The source, the content and the purpose of the bags were not disclosed to me. Thereafter, I called the said Charles, who equally confirmed to me that he had been briefed about the message. I delivered the bags to Charles.

“Much later, the EFCC invited me for interrogation on the issue and I made a statement to that effect. Charles equally confirmed at the EFCC that he received the 12 padlocked bags and the bags contained the sum of $70 million.

In his testimony during cross-examination by the prosecutor to the witness on the relationship that exist between him and Diezani, the witness said: “We had a command-and-obey relationship and also took an oath of office to obey directives and authority”.

The witness also said he had never met Lawal before during cross-examination by the defence Counsel.

July 21, 22 and 23, 2020 has been fixed by the court for the continuation of trial.

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