I had no reason to suspect Dudafa, witness tells court

A bureau-de-change operator, Murtala Abubakar, who is testifying in the trial of Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, an aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan, told the Federal High Court that he received about N1.6 billion from the accused through five companies.

Under cross examination during a continuation of the trial, Dudafa’s lawyer, Gbenga Oyewole, asked Abubakar if the transaction he did with Dudafa was illegal, to which he replied that he did not verify the source of the foreign exchange that was given to him to convert.

“My bureau de change is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). I ensure the people I deal with are not criminals. My transactions with Dudafa are not in contravention of any CBN rules. If we know money is from a questionable source, we reject it,” he said.

The witness said he had no reason to question the source of currencies Dudafa gave him.

“I know he is a public servant. He invited me to the Presidential Villa,” he said, adding that he had known Dudafa since when he was Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government.

Abubakar said Dudafa called him through three different mobile lines, but Oyewole countered, saying Dudafa did not have three mobile lines.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Dudafa and Iwejuo Joseph Nna (alias Taiwo A. Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah) before Justice Mohammed Idris on 23-count charge of conspiracy and concealment of crime proceeds.

They were accused of conspiring to conceal proceeds of crime amounting to over N1.6 billion on June 11, 2013 and they pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Justice Idris adjourned till October 27, 28 and November 8 and 10 for trial.