A witness in the ongoing trial of the personal assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on domestic matters, Waripamowei Emmanuel Dudafa, on Monday told the Lagos Federal High Court presided by Justice M.B. Idris how he received a total sum of N1,667,162,800 from the former presidential aide through five different companies between 2013 and 2015. 

The companies are Pluto Properties and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property, Rotato Interlink Services, Seagate Property, and Ebiwise Services Limited.

The witness, Murtala Bashir Abubakar, made the disclosure when he was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, and was asked to explain to the court his relationship with Mr. Dudafa.

Mr. Abubakar, a Bureau de Change operator who plies his trade in three different companies - Na Mu Duka Ventures, Yamusa Oil Services Limited, and 313 Ventures - informed the court that he knew Mr. Dudafa since the accused was a Commissioner for Local Government in Bayelsa State under the administration of Governor Timipre Sylva.

He further told the court that the only relationship between the two of them was that of Forex, a relationship that continued up to the time Mr. Dudafa became a personal assistant to Mr. Jonathan.

In explaining the nature of their transactions, the witness informed the court that Mr. Dudafa usually sent two of his staff, Festus and German, with U.S. dollars in order to deposit the Naira equivalent into specific accounts provided by Mr. Dudafa via text messages. The witness disclosed to the court the text messages he received from Mr. Dudafa on his Samsung mobile phone.

Mr. Abubakar confirmed to the court that all instructions on how to disburse the money were sent via text messages, with the exception of one transaction in which Mr. Dudafa invited the witness to the Presidential Villa and handed him $4 million in cash.

The mobile phone as well as the Ownership Attestation Form were admitted and marked as Exhibits E and E1, respectively.

The witness was confronted with exhibits A-B3 in which he identified all the transactions, both from his companies’ accounts and his personal account, that transpired between himself and Mr. Dudafa from 2013 to 2015.

At the end of the examination, the witness confirmed that all money he received during the transactions in question came from Mr. Dudafa.

When it was time for the defense to proceed with cross-examination of the witness, the counsel representing Mr. Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewale, requested the court for an adjournment. Sunday Abumeri, counsel to the second defendant, also aligned with the position of Mr. Oyewale in seeking an adjournment.

Rotimi Oyedepo objected the pleads of the two counsels, but Justice Idris eventually granted the defense counsels' application and adjourned the matter to Tuesday, 27 September 2016.

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