NewsEmefiele, Wife Not Signatories To Companies' Accounts – EFCC Witness

Emefiele, Wife Not Signatories To Companies’ Accounts – EFCC Witness

July 11, (THEWILL) – Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and his wife, Margaret, are not signatories to the accounts allegedly owned by them, an EFCC witness and account officer at Zenith Bank Plc, Mrs Ifeoma Ogbonnaya, told the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on April 8, 2024, arraigned the former apex bank chief, alongside one Henry Omoile before Justice Abdulrahman Oshodi of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, over alleged $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud. The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge. The anti-graft agency had alleged that Emefiele used the companies to commit the fraud.

Ogbonnaya, a graduate of Archaeology and Tourism, reiterated before Justice Oshodi that there was no relationship between Emefiele and the companies. She said the former apex bank chief and his wife are not shareholders or signatories to the corporate accounts of the companies – Limelight Limited, Comec and Answin Limited.


Mrs Ogbonnaya responded to questions by Olalekan Ojo (SAN), counsel to the defendant, if the bank, in compliance with regulatory requirements, obtained the documents and/or board resolution designating Emefiele and Mrs Emefiele as beneficial owners of the accounts of Limelight, Comec and Answin Limited.

Asked about the shareholders of Limelight Limited in the Corporate Affairs Commission documents, the witness named Omoile Augustina Onuwa, Oriekose Augustina, and Ibrahim Taofeek.

Regarding the second company, Answin Limited, she said the sole signatory to the account is Tina Oroekose. For Comec Limited, she confirmed that the controlling shareholder is Olotu Augustina.

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

“There is a regulatory requirement for the collection of information on beneficial owners of a corporate account. There is a Know Your Customer (KYC) platform, through which banks collect information on the beneficial owner of an account, but I was not involved in the initial opening of the account.

“When the former relationship officer left, I continued the relationship based on what the previous relationship officer has been managing them with”, she said, adding that instructions to banks are not oral but in writing and before she came to court to give evidence, she had the opportunity to review the account opening of the three companies.

The witness also said that KYC was before the court and that financing risk assessment formed part of KYC. She also confirmed to the court that in the running of the banking business, Zenith Bank followed guidelines regarding the deposit and withdrawal of funds.

Shown Pages 96 to 101 of exhibit A, she was asked to confirm that there were credit inflows into Answin Limited of N13.504 million, she confirmed that the narration did not show the money came from CBN. She also confirmed that another N16 million and N14 million did not come from the CBN. She was also asked if she recalled making statements before officials of EFCC. She confirmed yes and that she actually made 3 or 4 statements.

Meanwhile, Justice Oshodi has adjourned the case until Oct. 28 for the continuation of the trial.

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