The prosecution of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, indicted in the Diezani bribe saga continued Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos with two of the accused persons, Christan Nwosu and Tijani Bashir acknowledging a receipt which indicated that they collected N268 million from Fidelity Bank, Ilorin, Kwara state.
The evidence admitted as exhibit ‘A’, was tendered by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo through a witness, Timothy Olaobaju, former Head of Operations, Fidelity Bank, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Olaobaju told the court that a meeting was held between the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc and the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, sometime in 2015, wherein an agreement was reached, that some companies and individuals will be coming to pay some money into the bank.
Olaobaju, further told the Court that on Diezani’s instruction, some persons brought money totalling $115 million dollars to Fidelity Bank. He said that the money was kept in the bank pending the instructions on disbursement as agreed between Alison-Madueke and the MD of the bank.
On 25th of March, 2015 the bank received instructions to convert the said money to naira, which he said the bank did and the money came to N23 billion.
Olaobaju, narrated that a list of beneficiaries across the 36 States of the Federation was sent to Fidelity Bank by the former minister for disbursement after conversion of the said money from Dollar to Naira. He disclosed that he personally disbursed the Ilorin, Kwara State branch share as the then the Head of Operations.
Olaobaju, further told the court that he personally handed over N268 million and N880, 000,00 to Nwosu and Tijjani respectively, in cash as instructed by the Head Office of the bank. He admitted to the court that Nwosu and one other acknowledged receipt of payment made to them.
Nwosu and Tijani allegedly received the bribe money from the former Petroleum Resources Minister in the weeks preceding the 2015 general election, to influence the outcome of the presidential election.
Under cross examination, Olaobaju told the Court that he did not know the purpose of the payment but was working under instructions.
The court adjourned the matter to 29th June, 2017 for continuation of trial.