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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

How Diezani Gave Out N450m To Ex-Minister, Abubakar Sulaiman And Dele Belgore

Image result for Abubakar Sulaiman And Dele Belgore
A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former minister of National Planning, Abubakar Sulaiman and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mohammed Dele Belgore, yesterday narrated to the court how a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke gave N450 million out of $115 million she stashed in a bank.

Sulaiman and Belgore were in February arraigned before Justice Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged  money laundering to the tune of N450 million.

When the case was called yesterday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) told the court that it had re-amended the five-count charge against the defendants
and mentioned Diezani as part of the charge.

The prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to allow their plea to be re-taken and the defendants were therefore re-arraigned on the amended charge alongside the former petroleum minister said to be at large.

In the charges, Diezani was alleged to have conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015 to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they ought to have known to be of proceeds of unlawful act.

Meanwhile the witness, Timothy Olaobaju who is a banker while being led in evidence, informed the court that sometime in April 2014, his managing Director gave them directives that certain individuals and companies would be sending money into some account and the purpose of the money was not made known.

According to the witness, the money which amounted to $115 million was paid into the account.

Olaobaju, explained that in March 27, 2015, there was instruction from the former Petroleum Minister to the bank that the money which was in USD be converted to naira and be paid to some beneficiaries, including the two defendants.

The witness also told the court that both Belgore (SAN) and Sulaiman who were not customers of the bank received N450 million and filled the receipt of payment form to acknowledge receipt.
The case continues today for cross-examination of the witness.

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