N1.6bn fraud: I’m innocent, Jonathan’s ex-aide, Dudafa, says

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A former special adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, urged the court on Tuesday to hold that he was not guilty of the N1.6bn fraud charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Dudafa, while being led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr Adegboyega Oyewole (SAN), urged the court to discharge and acquit him.
He told the court that contrary to the allegation by the EFCC, the N1.6bn traced to him was not part of proceeds of a criminal act and he did not conspire with anyone to conceal the funds.
“The source of the money is known; the money was not mine; the money belongs to the Anglican Communion of Otuoke Community in Bayelsa State. It was realised from the fundraiser organised by the church and the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who is a member and grand patron of the Anglican Church,” Dudafa said.
According to him, at the fundraiser, a businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, who was the chief donor, pledged $10m, and Jonathan instructed him (Dudafa) to follow up with Eze to redeem his pledge.
Dudafa said Eze redeemed the pledge in installments, adding that the money was kept in the bank account of one Somprei Someibi, a friend of the Jonathan’s family.
“I was just carrying out the instructions of the former President. I know as a fact that the source of the funds was lawful and the money paid into various accounts are not unlawful, except they (EFCC) are saying that the fundraiser was illegal.
“I’m innocent; I want the charges to be dismissed and for the court to discharge and acquit me,” Dudafa told Justice Mohammed Idris at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
However, while being cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, Dudafa said he could not find on the bank account statement any cash transfer in favour of the Anglican Church in Otuoke from the bank account into which the funds raised in the church’s name were paid.