A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Mr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, on Monday disclosed how he changed millions of dollars to naira for the accused.
Dudafa was the Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan.
He and two other persons are facing money laundering charges.
The witness, a Bureau De Change operator, Alhaji Murtala Bashiru Abubakar is the first to testify against Dudafa in the alleged N5.1bn fraud preferred against him and two others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Dudafa and one Iwujuo Joseph Nna, also known as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isiah are standing trial before Justice Muhammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos.
They were charged alongside four companies, namely: Seagate Property Development & Investment Limited, Ebiwise Resources Limited; Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited; Lutato Interservices Limited and Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited.
The Bureau De Change operator said he had known Dudafa since when he was Bayelsa State’s Commissioner for Local Government, during Timpreye Sylvia’s administration.
“He (Mr. Dudafa) usually sends 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,” Abubakar said.
The witness said he received those 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.
When asked whether all the instructions on how to disburse the money were received via text messages, Mr. Murtala replied in the affirmative but added that in the last transaction, Mr. Dudafa invited him to the Presidential Villa and handed to him $4 million cash.
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,” Mr. Abubakar said.
During cross-examination of the witness, the defendants’ counsels, Gboyega Oyewale and Sunday Abumeri, requested for an adjournment.
The judge adjourned till September 27 for cross-examination.