Former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, yesterday told the Federal High Court in Lagos that all the foreign currencies he gave to a Bureau De Change operator to convert to naira were given to him by his bosses.
Testifying during a hearing on a suit filed by Mrs Jonathan, Dudafa said he merely carried out instructions.
The former First Lady sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for placing a no-debit order on her Skye Bank Plc accounts with $15.5million. She is praying the court to unfreeze them.
Justice Mohammed Idris had directed parties to give oral evidence on the money’s ownership.
Dudafa, while being cross-examined by EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo after adopting his witness statement on oath, said he only “relayed” the instructions he was given.
Oyedepo asked him: “Do you know Festus Iyoha and Peter Arivim?” Dudafa said: “Iyoha was a steward attached to the President and Commander-in-Chief. I also know Peter Arivim. He was also a steward attached to President Jonathan.”
Oyedepo said: “You gave them hard currencies to take to a Bureau De Change operator, Abubakar Murtala.”
Dudafa responded: “It was not limited to Iyoha and Peter. I don’t have power to instruct anyone. I could only relay the instruction of the President or his wife to any available aide, including Festus and Peter.”
Oyedepo insisted that it was Dudafa who instructed the aides to convert the money. The witness said: “I relayed different instructions from the President or his wife.”
Oyedepo said: “I put it to you that you gave dollars to Mr Murtala,” to which Dudafa responded: “So many times the President and his wife gave me instructions to hand over the dollars.”
When Oyedepo suggested to Dudafa that he was the one who personally handed the dollars to the aides, the witness agreed.
“The physical handing over was done by me although I received instructions from the President or his wife,” he said.
Oyedepo said: “I put it to you that $1million and other amounts were given to you,” to which Dudafa responded: “I don’t know if it was $1million”.
Asked if he was in constant contact with the BDC operator, the witness answered in the affirmative.
Justice Idris adjourned until March 26.