₦23bn Diezani’s Bribe: Court Grants Evidence Against Christan Nwosu, Others


Justice Mohammed Idris of Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos today granted as evidence against Christan Nwosu and Tijani Bashir, acknowledgment receipt of N268 million collected by the defendants from Fidelity Bank, Ilorin, Kwara state.
The receipt emanated from the Fidelity Bank Plc, Ilorin Kwara State. The evidence was tendered by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo through the prosecution witness, Timothy Olaobaju, the former Head of Operations, Fidelity Bank, Ilorin, Kwara State.and admitted as exhibit ‘A’.
In his evidence, Olaobaju told the Court that a meeting was held between the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc and the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison Madueke, sometime in 2015, wherein an agreement was reached between Madueke and the MD Fidelity Bank, that some companies and individuals will be coming to pay some money into the bank.
Olaobaju, further told the Court that on Diezani’s directives some persons brought money totalling N115 million dollars to Fidelity Bank to keep for her. He told the Court that the money was kept in the bank pending the instructions as agreed between Madueke and the MD Fidelity Bank PLC.
On 25th of March, 2015 the bank received instructions to convert the said money to naira, which he said the bank did and the money was totalled N23 billion.
Olaobaju, narrated that a list of beneficiaries across the 36 States of the Federation was sent to Fidelity Bank by the former Minister for disbursement after conversion of the said money from Dollar to naira. He said, he personally disbursed the Ilorin, Kwara State branch of the share as the then the Head of Operations.
Olaobaju, also further told the Court that he personally handed over N268 million and N880,000,00 to Nwosu and Tijjani in cash as instructed by the Head Office, Fidelity Bank Plc. He admitted to the Court that Nwosu and one other acknowledged the receipt of payment to them in cash.
It will be recalled that Nwosu and Tijani had on March 2015, allegedly received the slush bribe money from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani during the build up of the 2015 general election.
Olaobaju in his cross examination, told the Court that he does not know the purpose of the payment but was working under instructions.
The Court adjourned the matter to 29th of June 2017, for continuation of trial.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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