Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, challenged the ex-presidential aide, Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, to show evidence that any part of the N1.6bn lodged in the Heritage Bank account of a firm, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, was transferred to the church.
But replying, Dudafa said only his former principal, Jonathan, could offer an explanation on that.
The EFCC is prosecuting Dudafa for an alleged fraud of N1.6bn.
He was charged alongside a banker, Joseph Iwuejo, who the EFCC said was his (Dudafa’s) account officer with Heritage Bank.
The defendants opened their defence on Monday after the court dismissed their applications for no-case submission.
Dudafa had while being led in evidence by his lawyer on Monday, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), contended that he was not guilty of any wrongdoing as alleged by the EFCC.
He said the N1.6bn found in the account of Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, which the EFCC linked to him, was not proceeds of fraud but part of the money donated to Jonathan’s church in Otuoke to build the St. Stephens Youth Development Centre, Otuoke, Bayelsa State.
Dudafa said following a fundraiser organised in Lagos, the ex-President instructed him to follow up with Prince Arthur Eze, who pledged $10m (about N1.8bn).
He said the ex-President asked him to look for someone in the private sector who could help to keep the $10m once Eze redeemed his pledge.
Dudafa said, as a result, he got an ex-military man, Somprie Omiebi, who lodged the money in the Heritage Bank account of Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.
However, while being cross-examined on Tuesday by the EFCC lawyer, Oyedepo, Dudafa was presented with the statement of account of Avalon and was asked to point out if there was any money transferred from the account to the church.
Responding, Dudafa said, “From Exhibit B (the account statement), no fund was transferred to the Anglican Communion of Otuoke Community. I can’t see it. It couldn’t have been because only the former President could have given directive on what to do.”
Asked by Oyedepo to name the Bishop of the Anglican Communion of Otuoke Community, Dudafa said, “I don’t know; I only related with the former President.”
In the course of the cross-examination, Oyedepo led Dudafa to point out to the court from the statement of account that a sum of N30m was transferred on November 25, 2013, to The Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant, in which Dudafa had the highest share and often addressed himself as the chairman.
The EFCC lawyer also showed Dudafa the statement of account of The Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant with the Guarantee Trust Bank, saying, “It is correct that as of today, the funds that are in the account of The Jakes, paid by a Bureau De Change operator, Murtala Bashir, is in excess of N500m.”
The prosecutor also led Dudafa to point out that a total of N30m was transferred between December 21 and 22, 2015 to the law firm of Mr Habila Sylvanus, who is an uncle to Dudafa.
The EFCC lawyer also led Dudafa to show the court that several millions of naira were transferred from the account of Avalon to a firm, Light Light, owned by one Engineer Brisebe, who helped Dudafa to build his house in Lagos.
Dudafa, however, said he was not the one who managed Avalon’s account and he knew nothing about the payment to Light Light.
The prosecutor also led Dudafa to point out that N40m was paid on November 11, 2015, to Joseph Iwuejo, who is standing trial along with Dudafa.
Further proceedings in the case have been adjourned till Friday, September 7, 2018.
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