A banker, Iwejuo Joseph Nna, on Monday alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked him to incriminate a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Dr Waripamo-Owei Dudafa.
Nna told Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos that his refusal to do so caused the EFCC to file a N1.6billion fraud charge against him.
Nna, a branch manager in Bayelsa State, and Dudafa were, on June 11, 2016, arraigned by the EFCC on a 23-count charge of conspiracy to conceal the proceeds of crime amounting to over N1.6billion.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the duo, between June 2013 and June 2015, used different companies to launder the money.
At the commencement of proceedings on Monday, second defendant Nna alleged that after his arrest, the EFCC sought his cooperation in implicating Dudafa over the alleged offences.
Led in Evidence in-Chief by his counsel, Ige Asemudara, Nna said he was told that he was not the target of the investigation, and that if he cooperated he would be fielded as a prosecution witness in Dudafa’s trial.
He said: “I told them that I couldn’t understand what they meant and they asked me if I had a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who would be ready to defend me and that I should be prepared for the consequences if I refused to cooperate.”
According to Nna, his colleagues who were also arrested in connection with the alleged offence were fielded as prosecution witness rather than being prosecuted.
The defendant’s testimony was halted when Asemudara applied for an adjournment to provide some exhibits needed for his defence.
Prosecution counsel Rotimi Oyedepo opposed his application, but, in a bench ruling, Justice Mohammed adjourned till September 18.
According to the EFCC, The defendants allegedly concealed N1.6bn through a company, Seagate Property Development and Investment Ltd, an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a).
They were also accused of knowingly concealing proceeds of crime through Avalon Global Property Development Company Ltd in the sum of N 399, 470,000.00, among others.
EFCC said Dudafa “procured” Nna and Ebiwise Resources to conceal N150million being proceeds of crime.