A former Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, has said the N1.6 billion linked to him as proceeds of fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was money donated to Anglican Communion of Otuoke community in Bayelsa State.
Dudafa, who spoke in continuation of his trial by the EFCC, therefore, said it was wrong to accuse him of any criminal act.
Speaking on Monday before the Federal High Court in Lagos, where he opened his defence in the fraud case filed against him by the EFCC, he said the N1.6 billion was promise made at a fund raiser organised in 2013 by the Anglican Communion of Otuoke Community, to which Jonathan was a grand patron, adding that it was meant for the construction of St. Stephen’s Youth Development Centre in Otuoke.
Dudafa said the fundraiser took place in Lagos and many people made monetary donations, including the chief launcher, Prince Arthur Eze, who pledged $10 million (about N1.8 billion), to be paid in instalments.
He said Jonathan instructed him to follow up with Eze on the pledge.
Led in evidence by his lawyer, Adegboyega Oyewole (SAN), Dudafa said: “From my interactions with former President Goodluck Jonathan, I know that the funds were proceeds of a fundraiser that was conducted by the Anglican Communion of Otuoke Community for the building of the St. Stephens Youth Development Centre, Otuoke.
“The launching, which was done in Lagos on the 16th of March, 2013, was organised by the former President as a member of the Anglican Communion and the grand patron.
“About N6 billion was realised from the event.
“Several persons made various donations at the event while the chief launcher, Prince Arthur Eze, donated $10 million (about N1.8 billion).
“The donation by the chief launcher was a pledge, which he promised to fulfil in piecemeal.
“When Prince Eze started redeeming his pledge in piecemeal, the former President directed that I got somebody in the private sector that would be able to keep the funds.
“I then brought in a friend, Somprie Omiebi, who later opened an account with a bank in Bayelsa.
“The naira denominated account was opened to receive Prince Eze’s money.
“Anytime Prince Eze brought any money, the former President would direct that I link up with a Bureau de Change operator who would remit the money directly to the account opened by Somprie Omiebi.
“The companies listed in the charge are not known to me and I am not a signatory to their accounts.
“I am also not a director.
“I know Somprie Omiebi as someone in the private sector that brought those accounts and the companies to the former President and his wife for the safekeeping of their money.
“Omiebi is the only person that knows the details of the various accounts.”
The case was adjourned till Tuesday (today).