Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, today, insisted that all financial transactions in which he is been prosecuting for, were made as directed by his former boss and his wife, Same Patience Jonathan.
Dudafa alongside one Iwejuo Nna Joseph, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court, Lagos, on alleged fraud of N1.6 billion.
They are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 23-count charge of conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to N1.6 billion.
The were first arraigned before the court on the alleged offences on June 11, 2016, and they had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
At the resumed hearing of the matter today, Dudafa while being cross-examined by EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that all monies he was alleged of transacting with some companies and individuals, were done on the directives of his former boss, Dr. Jonathan.
When shown with some of his statements which he signed while being interrogated by the operatives of the agency, he told the court that he signed what was dictated to him and sign it.
When asked if he asked some Bureau De Change Operators, who include Murtala Bashir and others, to transfer some money to some companies which include: Seagate Property Development and Investment Ltd, Avalon Global Property Development Company Ltd, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Rotato Interlink Services Ltd .
He responded and said: “I didn’t know because there is nothing linking me with the companies”.
He also told the court that he was told by operatives of the commission that the wife of the second defendant, Agonnor Rachael, is a director and one of the signatories to Rotato Interlink Services Limited
Furthermore, when confronted with Exhibit A, Seagate’s statement of account with one of the new generation bank, if the money realised for some project of the Anglican Communion in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State, was transfer to the church for the purpose it was realised for, Dudafa said: I don’t know as the statement of is already before the court.
When further asked if he knows a company called Lamer Travels and Tours Limited, which several money were transfered to by the companies mentioned, he said: ” yes, I know the company, its a traveling agency used by the former President Jonathan and his family, and I have cause use it also.
“I am not surprised if the mentioned companies transferred money to Lama Travels and Tour because as a private company it has many corporate and individual clients that tranfer business with it.
“From the exhibit before the court, I don’t know if monies were transfered to Anglican Communion, and I believed that the documents speaks for itself”.
At the last hearing of the matter, Dudafa while being led in evidence-in-chief by his lawyers, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN)) and Ademola Adefolaju, had told the court that the N1.6 billion in question was the proceeds of the donations for the church projects were paid into private companies’ accounts. And that it was meant for the development of church projects, the building of Deaconry of Saint Stephen Anglican Communion, and the youth development centre, Otueke, Bayelsa State.
He told the court specifically that the money was donated to the church by one Arthur Eze, who paid the money in bits. Though, he confirmed that he received a cumulative total sum of $10 million from Prince Arthur Eze a businessman in the presence of former President, between 2013 and 2015.
He also told the court that he has no transaction or dealings with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), or the persons of NSA.
Adding that he did not conspired with the second defendant to conceal any money, as the source of money in question is clear , it is a donation from Chief Arthor Eze for church projects.
Dudafa had further told the court that he did to fill the Asset Declaration Form, because he was not a public officer as he was not being paid salary from the public accounts and that he only acted on personal capacity when he was appointed by the former President Jonathan as Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs. Adding that his refusal to fill the Assets Declaration Form at the EFCC while being detained was due to the commission’s refusal to state the nature of his offences, nor given adequate time, and the denial of his right to his lawyer.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that the two defendants, between June 2013 and June 2015, used different companies to fraudulently launder the money.
Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till Monday.