NEWS

Ex-CBN Gov Emefiele Didn’t Award Any Contract Without Bribes- Ex-CBN Director Tells Court

Ayoh, the second prosecution witness in a trial before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

By Nkiruka Aduba

Former Director of Information Technology at the Central Bank of Nigeria, John Ayoh, has alleged that during his tenure, former governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, habitually accepted bribes prior to awarding contracts.

Ayoh, the second prosecution witness in a trial before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, maintained that Emefiele normalized the practice of taking bribes as part of the bank’s procurement process.

Ayoh said, “That is how he operates, he will not award contracts without collecting anything”.

During his testimony led by Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the witness recounted his involvement in collecting funds for the former CBN Governor. He recounted receiving $400,000 from Emefiele’s aide, John Adetola, who visited his Lekki residence to deliver it.

Additionally, Ayoh detailed receiving a second sum of $200,000 from a CBN contractor at the bank’s Tinubu Lagos Island office. He explained that upon the contractor’s arrival, identified as Victor, he contacted Emefiele who instructed him to retrieve the funds directly, as he preferred no third party involvement.

Ayoh further noted encountering several Bank CEOs, including the late Hebert Wigwe, waiting outside the governor’s office during the delivery.

While answering questions under cross-examination from Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olalekan Ojo, who represented the former CBN Governor, the witness denied that he had ever been a party to any crime, but admitted that he had facilitated the commission of a crime unknowingly. He said, “I believe I did admit in my statement that I was forced to commit the crime

“I don’t know the exact word I used in my statement, but I said we were all forced with tremendous pressure to bend the rules.”

The witness also admitted that he did not write in his statement to the EFCC, that the monies were given to influence the award of contracts but added “that this is how he (Emefiele) operates. He will not award contracts without collecting anything”.

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