Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ex-aide, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, who was arraigned before a federal judge in Lagos, disclosed that the N1.6 billion traced to him by EFCC was money donated for a church project in Otuoke, Jonathan’s hometown.
According to Jonathan’s ex-aide, the launching for the church project was held in Lagos on March 16, 2013 and the money was part of a N6 billion realized from a launching for the building of St. Stephen’s Youth Development Centre.
Waripamo-Owei Dudafa said the event was organized by Jonathan as the grand patron of the Anglican Communion.
“About N6 billion was realised from the event. Several persons made various donations in cash and in pledges at the event while the chief launcher, Prince Arthur Eze, donated $10 million (about N1.8 billion).
When Prince Eze started redeeming his pledge in piece-meal, the former president directed that I should get somebody in the private sector that will be able to keep the fund.
I then brought in a friend, Somprie Omiebi, who later opened an account with a bank in Bayelsa. The naira denominated account was opened to receive Prince Eze’s money.
Anytime Prince Eze brought any money, the former president will direct that I link up with a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator who will remit the money directly to the account opened by Somprie Omiebi.”
While the EFCC alleged that the accused persons between June 2013 and June 2015, used different companies to fraudulently launder the said money, Mr Dudafa, alongside Joseph Iwejuo, who is facing a 23-count charge of conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to N1.6 billion is denying the claim.
It was further gathered that the accused and about five other companies are also facing a N5.1 billion fraud charge before Mr Idris.
The former President’s aide had earlier told the court how he was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on the April 17, 2016, while he was accompanying his son to the United Kingdom.