By Robert Egbe
A Federal Excessive Courtroom sitting in Lagos heard on Thursday that in 2015, a former Petroleum Assets Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke ordered the removing of $70 million from the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Company (NNPC) in 12 padlocked luggage.
A former NNPC Group Basic Supervisor informed Justice Muslim Hassan that he delivered the luggage to an Abuja-based banker on Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s directions.
He testified that he and others “had a command-and-obey relationship and likewise took an oath of workplace to obey directives and authority”.
The previous GGM appeared as a prosecution witness within the trial of a former Government Director of a high business financial institution, Dauda Lawal.
Lawal is being prosecuted by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) for alleged cash laundering of N928,000,000
The fee accused him of dealing with $25 million out of $153 million, which the previous minister allegedly doled out to affect the 2015 common elections.
The trial opened on Thursday with the ex-NNPC GGM showing as the primary prosecution witness.
Led in proof by EFCC Prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness narrated how he delivered the cash-laden luggage to the Abuja banker, recognized merely as Charles, within the entrance of Dume Grocery store in Abuja.
The witness stated: “My lord, as I can keep in mind, shortly earlier than the 2015 elections, it was the norm for heads of subsidiaries (of the NNPC) to be invited for undisclosed briefing of actions of their departments to the minister.
“On the finish of such briefings, the then Minister of Petroleum Assets, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, gave me a GSM quantity in respect of 1 Charles, whom I had by no means met, with a transparent instruction that I ought to convey 12 padlocked luggage to the stated Charles.
“My lord, the supply, the content material and the aim of the luggage weren’t disclosed to me.
“Thereafter, I known as the stated Charles, who equally confirmed to me that he had been briefed concerning the message. I delivered the luggage to Charles.
“A lot later, my lord, the EFCC invited me for interrogation on the difficulty and I made an announcement to that impact.
“Charles equally confirmed on the EFCC that he obtained the 12 padlocked luggage and the luggage contained $70 million.”
Below cross-examination by the defence counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), the witness stated he had by no means met Lawal earlier than.
Justice Hassan adjourned until July 21, 22 and 23 for continuation of trial.