‘How ex-aide laundered N5.1b for Patience Jonathan’

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has heard how a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Gooluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs Dr Waripamo-Owei Dudafa allegedly laundered about N5.1billion for the former president’s wife Patience.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Dudafa and Iwejuo Joseph Nna (alias Taiwo A. Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah) before Justice Mohammed Idris on 23-counts of conspiracy and concealment of crime proceeds.

They are on trial for alleged conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to over N1.6billion on June 11, 2013, among others.

A prosecution witness, Orji Chukwuma, in his testimony on Tuesday, said Dudafa allegedly used different companies to fraudulently launder various sums of money to the tune of N5.1 billion.

The EFCC operative said a Bereau de Change operator Murtala Abubakar admitted to have collected several millions in dollars from Dudafa.

“We discovered, in the course of our investigation, that Abubakar was directed to pay the various sums of money into different accounts provided by Dudafa,” the witness said.

Chukwuma, led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, said Mrs Jonathan gave the money to Dudafa at the Aso Rock Villa.

The former aide, the witness said, allegedly used some companies to launder the money.

They are ABY Resources Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Ibejige Services Limited and DeJakes Fast Food & Restaurant Nigeria Limited.

Chukwuma said the defendant ware-housed and managed the money through the companies.

The court also heard that Dudafa did not declare his interest in the companies in his Asset Declaration Form.

According to the witness, the monies found in his accounts at two new generation banks were proceeds of crime.

Dudafa, through his lawyer, applied to the court to release his international passport temporarily to enable him go for a medical appointment outside the country.

He claimed that he suffers from spinal cord dislocation, which he said he sustained while he was at EFCC’s detention.

But, Oyedepo urged the court not to grant the application, saying EFCC had written to a government hospital to determine whether Dudafa could be treated in Nigeria but was yet to get a response.

Justice Idris adjourned till October 24 for hearing of the application to travel.

Trial will continue on November 14 and 15.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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