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Emefiele: I was forced to give $600,000 bribe for contract payment – Witness

A prosecution witness in the trial of former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele has said he was forced to pay a bribe of $600,000 before being paid for a contract he did for the apex bank.

The witness who is the Managing Director of Resource Computer Limited, Victor Onyejiuwa disclosed this at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja yesterday.

Being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Onyejiuwa said his company deploys hardware and software-tailored security, network, storage and backup solutions.

Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, are facing trial on a 26-count charge before Justice Rahman Oshodi.

The former CBN governor and Omoile pleaded not guilty to charges of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud.

However, Onyejiuwa told the court that his company provided information and communication technologies assistance to CBN between 2014 and 2019.

He added that sometime in 2017, Resource Computer was awarded an “enterprise storage and servers” contract by the CBN.

He said: “The official said there was pressure on him.

“I told him that our payment was being delayed.

“He told me that if I didn’t accede to his request, my payment would not be approved.

“After several back and forths, for him to see reasons with me as to why I needed to get paid, and my obligations with my partners, I succumbed to his pressure.

“I was able to organise the sum of $400,000 and $200,000 to facilitate payment of the contract funds.

“Within two or three weeks after, payment was made. That is what happened.”

The witness also said the highest contract sum was $1.2 billion between 2017 and late 2018 when the naira traded at N360/$1.

He also told the court that there were other small payments of N24 million and N17 million.

After listening, Justice Oshodi adjourned till May 17 for the continuation of trial.

Emefiele: I was forced to give $600,000 bribe for contract payment – Witness

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Emefiele: I was forced to give $600,000 bribe for contract payment – Witness