The w manager of Zenith bank, Ghana Street, Abuja, Sheelis Gana, on Thursday told a Federal High Court, Lagos how former minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani -Kayode opened an account with the bank at the heat of for the 2015 elections.
Gana told Justice Rilwan Aikawa that Fani -Kayode and one of his co-accused, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, were customers of Zenith Bank Plc.
She said one Miss Gloria, a staff of the bank, opened an account for the former minister in January 2015 during the build-up to the general election.
“Proper documentations were done on the account. There were also inflows and outflows on the account”, she said. said the bank would have stopped the transactions had they been considered illegal.
She was testifying as the third prosecution witness in the trial of Femi Fani-Kayode and former Minister of State for Finance Senator Nenadi Usman for alleged money laundering involving about N4.6billion.
The former ministers were charged along with former Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and ex-Chairman of Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State Mr. Yusuf Danjuma and a company, Joint Trust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
She said several transfers were made to other beneficiaries, and that checques were written in Fani-Kayode’s name and were paid.
He said 19 cheques were issued by Fani-Kayode on February 3, 2015, most of them for N10million.
“The cheques were honoured by my bank. There were no complaints from the second defendant (Fani-Kayode) after the funds were drawn from the account,” he said.
Gana said there was an instruction to transfer various sums into Fani-Kayode’s account, including N240million from Jointrust Dimentions, as well as N250million, among others.
Under cross examination by Usman’s lawyer Chief Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), the witness said: “Once Zenith Bank discovers an unlawful transaction, it will not be concluded.
“The bank didn’t see anything unlawful in the transactions, that’s why they were successfully completed. I did not personally handle the transactions,” he said.
Gana said she was the last authorising officer for Fani-Kayode’s transactions, and that it was her job to re-confirm certain transactions depending on the amount.
“In my judgment, there was nothing unlawful about these transactions,” the witness said.
Gana said there were no signatures on the reverse side of the cheques to show that it was Fani-Kayode who personally cashed them.
“I cannot authoritatively say that it was the second defendant who received this money. The account officer told me that the second defendant received the monies. He (Fani-Kayode) never complained that his money was missing,” the witness said.
According to the witness, several inflows were made to Jointrust’s Dimentions’ accounts. They include N400million from MFA Research Project; N100million from Afrigate Energy Ltd, N95million from MAE Capital Ltd/GTbank Plc, and N300million from Diamond Bank Plc, all in January 2015.
Others are: Global Scan Systems Ltd (N500million), Castilo Forex BDC Ltd (N250million), Interbridge Company (N208million), FBN Concern (N22million), Alpinegate Company (N30million), and Emeka Chuks Offor (N500million).
“I agree there were diverse payments to that account,” the witness said.
The defendants were accused of indirectly retaining N300million, N400million and N800million, all proceeds of corruption, according to EFCC.
The commission said Fani-Kayode directly used the sum of N170million, among other sums, which he reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of corruption and stealing.
He was also accused of doing cash transaction of N24million with Olubode Oke without going through a financial institution.
The offence, EFCC said, violates sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b).
The trial continues tomorrow (Friday).
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