21st December, 2020
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar moved $30 million, about N13.5 billion into Nigeria in 2019 to prosecute his failed bid to unseat President Buhari in the election.
Revelation about part of the politician’s war chest came to light today in Lagos at the ongoing money laundering trial of Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to Atiku.
Giwa Osagie, along with his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, is charged with making in February 2019 cash payment of $2million, about N900m to Atiku’s security guard without going through a financial institution.
Giwa-Osagie, EFCC contended, acted on the instruction of Atiku and breached the money laundering law
Shuaibu Shehu, an EFCC investigator said the money was part of the $30million paid into Guensey Trust Nigeria Limited by Intels West Africa, affiliated with Atiku.
Guensey Trust is controlled by Giwa Osagie.
At today’s sitting, Shehu, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Kufre Uduak, told the court that the Commission, sometime in 2019, received intelligence that some politicians were moving around with US Dollars to influence the result of the last general elections.
“It was also revealed that the sum of $1.6m (One Million, Six Hundred US Dollars) was given to one Alhaji Lawan Abdullahi, a Bureau De Change Operator (BDC).
“Based on this intelligence, my team conducted investigations and recovered the sum of $1.459m and N50m in cash.
“It was also discovered that the money came from a company called Guensey Trust Nigeria Limited controlled by the first defendant in trust for Atiku Abubakar.”
Shehu said Guensey Trust received into its own account the sum of €26m (Twenty-Six Million Euros) from a foreign company, Intel West Africa.
“The money was then converted into Dollars, which was $30m.
“Guensey Trust transferred the sum of $5m (Five Million Dollars) into Andrew Pitchford, a company owned by the 2nd defendant, that is Giwa Osagie’s brother and was converted into Naira through a BDC Company.
“The 2nd defendant was also instructed by the 1st defendant to raise the sum of $2m for someone, whom we later found out to be a security guard to Atiku Abubakar.
“Our findings revealed that the first defendant received the instruction from the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to hand over the money to the said person.”
Shehu who is second prosecution witness, PW2, will continue his testimony on 13 January, 2021.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos adjourned till then for continuation of trial.