Former Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that the N1.6 billion linked to him in an alleged fraud charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was proceeds of donations towards a church project organised by the former President.
Dudafa, who made the disclosure while testifying in his own defence in his ongoing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris, insisted that the money was part of the N6billion realized from the launching towards the building of St. Stephen’s Youth Development Centre of the Anglican Communion of Otuoke community.
The former presidential aide and his co-accused, Iwejuo Joseph Nna, were on June 11, 2016 arraigned before the court by the EFCC on a 23-count charge of conspiracy to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to N1.6 billion.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that the two accused persons between June 2013 and June 2015, used different companies to fraudulently launder the money.
The five companies are: Seagate Property Development & Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited and Pluto Property Limited Investment Company Limited and Rotate Interlink Services Limited.
The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to and punishable under sections 17(a), 18(c), and 27 (3) (c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.
They,however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In his testimony, Dudafa said, “From my interactions with former President Goodluck Jonathan, I know that the funds were proceeds of a launching that was conducted by the Anglican Communion of Otuoke community for the building of St. Stephens Youth Development Centre, Otuoke.
“The launching which was done in Lagos on the 16th of March, 2013 was organized by the former president as a member of the Anglican Communion and the grand patron.
“About N6 billion was realized from the event. Several persons made various donations at the event while the chief launcher, Prince Arthur Eze, donated $10million (about N1.8 billion). The donation by the chief launcher was a pledge which he promised to fulfill in piece-meal”.
Dudafa added that his boss later gave him the task of following up on the promise made by Prince Eze.
The former president’s aide had earlier narrated how he was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on April 17, 2016 while he was taking his son to the United Kingdom.
Further hearing in the matter continues today.