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HomeMetro NewsMrs. Emefiele's approval mandatory for all transactions in Firms' bank accounts under...

Mrs. Emefiele’s approval mandatory for all transactions in Firms’ bank accounts under probe ~ Witness

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The trial of former Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele continued on Wednesday at the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, with significant testimonies from Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, a business relationship manager at Zenith Bank Plc.

Continuing her testimony from the previous day, Ogbonnaya asserted there was no direct relationship between Emefiele and the private companies in question.

Under cross-examination by Emefiele’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, Ogbonnaya confirmed that neither Emefiele nor his wife were signatories to the accounts of Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd, Comec Support Services Ltd, and Andswin Resources Ltd.

“The transactions involving these companies required approval from Margaret Emefiele,” Ogbonnaya testified.

She detailed that instructions were given through phone calls, WhatsApp chats, and official emails, with Mrs. Emefiele’s number saved as ‘Margo’ on her phone. The only number she could recall was a foreign number: +447941835451.

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Ogbonnaya clarified that while banking instructions must be in writing, she had reviewed the account openings for the three companies before testifying. “Emefiele’s name and his wife’s did not appear as shareholders or signatories to the corporate accounts,” she stated.

The shareholders of Limelight Multidimensional Ltd were listed as Stephen Ogwa, Patricia Essan, Bruce Olotu, Agustina Omoile, Oriekose Agustina, and Ibrahim Oluwadamilare, with Bruce Olotu holding the largest share of 600,000.

“I did not come across any document in the account opening package indicating that Mrs. Emefiele is a direct beneficial owner of the corporate accounts of these companies,” Ogbonnaya continued.

She emphasized the importance of regulatory requirements for collecting information on beneficial owners, highlighting the Know Your Customer (KYC) platform used by banks.

Although she was not involved in the initial account openings, Ogbonnaya took over the relationship based on the previous officer’s management.

She affirmed that Zenith Bank adheres to guidelines regarding deposit and withdrawal funds, with financing risk assessment forming part of the KYC process.

The trial is closely watched, with the testimonies from Zenith Bank officials playing a crucial role in the ongoing legal proceedings against Emefiele. The court continues to deliberate on the implications of the evidence presented.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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