Zenith Bank Assistant Manager Reveals How Emefiele Moved Millions of Naira to Wife

Mrs. Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, an Assistant Manager at Zenith Bank Plc, has testified about Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), transferring funds to his wife, Mrs. Margaret Emefiele.

On Tuesday, Ogbonnaya detailed to an Ikeja Special Offences Court how Emefiele used Zenith Bank to transfer multimillion-naira sums to his wife.

Emefiele is on trial for abuse of office and alleged involvement in a $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud.

Photo Credit: Punch Newspaper

As the fifth prosecution witness, Ogbonnaya was led in evidence by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

She described how Emefiele utilized Zenith Bank to transfer millions of naira in tranches to his wife through various companies, including Amswing Resources and Solution, Limelight Dimensional Service Ltd., Omec Support Service Ltd., and Mango Farm.

“Limelight manages the facilities of CBN, located at Alakija and all transactions pertaining to power and fixing things that are not working was always done by the vendors,” she said.

The witness, who also serves as a Business Relationship Manager, joined the bank in 2006.

Ogbonnaya stated that she never had direct dealings with the ex-CBN governor, but she received instructions from his wife to transfer funds from CBN into their private companies’ Zenith Bank accounts.

In addition to Mrs. Emefiele, she also received instructions from two other individuals: Mr. John Ogah and Mr. Opeyemi Oludimu, who worked for the Emefieles but is now deceased.

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The witness further mentioned that she managed the various company accounts through which the multimillion-naira transactions were conducted.

“Mrs Margaret Emefiele, the ex-CBN governor’s wife, is the direct beneficiary of the accounts.

“The companies sent transfer instructions to my email, and Margaret is the beneficial owner of the accounts.

“All transactions made in the accounts were confirmed by Mrs Emefiele before they were processed.

“She sends transfer instructions directly to my official email address with Zenith Bank or sends two other persons to act on her behalf but I still receive approval from her,” she said.

The witness also testified in court that between March 9 and 11, 2015, the accounts received cash inflows from the apex bank amounting to N18.9 million and N1.8 million, respectively.

“On Feb. 22, 2021, there was a cash flow of N43 million from CBN; on July 21, 2022, there was a cash flow of N37.3 million; on Oct. 21, 2022, there was a credit flow of N44.6 million, on May 10, 2023, there was a cash flow of N93.1 million from CBN, among others,” she said.

The witness further stated that she typically communicated with Emefiele’s wife through email, phone calls, and WhatsApp to discuss transactions before processing them.

She mentioned that bundles of documents detailing the various transactions were printed from her office desktop computer.

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