Dudafa, Jonathan’s aide gave me $4m cash at the Villa- Witness

Chidi Samuel

Murtala Abubakar, a witness at the ongoing trial of Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, an aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday stunned the audience at a federal high court in Lagos when he disclosed that he received $4 million in cash from the accused at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Abubakar, a bureau de change operator, informed the court that in all, he received a total of N1.6 billion from Mr. Dudafa through five companies – Rotato Interlink services, Ebiwise services limited, Pluto Properties and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property and Seagate Property – between 2013 and 2015.

Led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC, Abubakar disclosed that his relationship with Mr. Dudafa on forex transactions dates back to the period he was the  Commissioner for Local Government in Bayelsa State and that it continued after  Mr. Dudafa became a personal assistant to President Jonathan.

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“He (Mr. Dudafa) usually send two of his staff, Festus and Jahman, with dollars in order to change same and deposit the naira equivalent into specific accounts he provides via text messages,” said Mr. Abubakar.

The witness explained that he usually receives  text messages from Mr. Dudafa on his Samsung mobile phone. The mobile phone and an Ownership Attestation Form were admitted and marked as Exhibits E and E1 respectively.

Responding to a question on whether all the instructions on how to disburse the money were received via text messages, the witness said yes; but added that in the last transaction, Mr. Dudafa invited him to the Presidential Villa and handed t $4 million cash to him.

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

“I can confirm that all the dollars received during the transactions came from him,” he said.

When it was time for the cross-examination of the witness, the defendants’ counsels, Gboyega Oyewale and Sunday Abumeri, requested for an adjournment. The case was subsequently adjourned till September 27 by the trial Judge.