How I collected $600,000 for Emefiele – CBN ex-director tells court

How I collected $600,000 for Emefiele – CBN ex-director tells court

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Former Director of Information Technology of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), John Ayoh, offered a detailed account of how he allegedly received $600,000 in contract gratification for the embattled ex-governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele.

Ayoh, during his testimony led by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) at the Ikeja Special Offences Court, revealed his eight-year tenure at the apex bank.

He disclosed receiving a communication from the agency regarding two transactions he facilitated with Emefiele. Ayoh, holding the position of Head of Procurement and Support Services (PSS) Department, narrated the delivery of $400,000 in the first envelope to his residence in Lekki, and the subsequent receipt of $200,000 at the Tinubu Head Office of the CBN.

Ayoh asserted his authority in processing contract applications and selecting successful bidders. He detailed the transaction occurrences, emphasizing the direct delivery of the second envelope to Emefiele’s office as per the governor’s instruction to avoid intermediaries.

Identifying the vendors responsible for delivering the envelopes, Ayoh specified their role in implementing Netapp Storage Architectural and Infrastructural Services. Under cross-examination by defense counsel Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Ayoh clarified his responsibilities, denying involvement in running errands for Emefiele while acknowledging direct supervision under him.

Ayoh affirmed Emefiele’s membership in the Major Contract Tender Committee (MCTC), disavowing any complicity in criminal acts. When questioned about indicating duress in his statement, Ayoh admitted uncertainty in the choice of words, reaffirming that the money was intended to influence contract awards, not as a bribe.

Despite objections, Ayoh’s statement was admitted into evidence by Justice Rahman Oshodi. Ayoh further revealed Emefiele’s instructions to circumvent regulations. The case was adjourned for continuation of cross-examination, with Emefiele’s counsel seeking his release on self-recognition, pending bail application fulfillment.

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No objections were raised by the second defense counsel, and the prosecution deferred to the court’s discretion. The ongoing investigation into Emefiele, initiated after his removal as CBN governor in June, is tied to allegations of a dispatch rider collecting $3 million in cash on his behalf.

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