How I Helped ECOWAS Staff to Launder Money – Witness

Third prosecution witness (PW3), Adedeji Jide Adelabu, a bureau de change operator, on Thursday, told Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, how Mohammed Dangana, a staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), instructed him to exchange and transfer millions of naira and foreign currencies to his personal accounts.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is prosecuting Dangana for criminal diversion of funds, misappropriation and money laundering to tune of over N500m.

At the resumed trial Thursday, Adelabu while being led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, stated that one Abubakar and Alhaji Oruma introduced Dangana to him and that he carried out two business transactions for the defendant between May and June 2016.

“The first transaction was the exchange of $1.5m to naira, at the rate of N345.5 to one dollar. Dangana instructed me to pay the sum of N344, 925,000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty- four Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Naira (N344, 925,000.00) to ECOWAS account and another N72, 030,000.00, (Seventy-two Million, Thirty Thousand Naira) was paid to the account of Saldano Chambers, domicile in GT Bank (Guaranty Trust Bank). He also instructed me to pay another N1.5m (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira), to Saldano Chambers,” he stated.

He further revealed that on June 30, 2016, there was another transaction for exchange of $1,000,000m (One million U.S.Dollars) at the rate of N347 to a U.S. dollar. From the naira equivalent, he disclosed that N289, 700,000.00 (Two Hundred and Eighty-nine Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) was paid to ECOWAS Community account; N55, 300,000.00 (Fifty-five Million, Three Hundred Thousand Naira) was paid to Marab Concept General Limited, while the balance of N2,000,000 (Two million Naira) was paid to Dukawa Nigeria Enterprise Ltd.

The defence counsel, J.P Uchechukwu, who stood in for Chief Onyezubelu cross-examined the witness, after which prosecution counsel sought the admission of the tendered documents, which met an objection from the defence counsel.

Justice Abang adjourned the matter until December 16, 2019 for continuation of cross-examination.


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