A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court, Lagos that Kwara stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) authorised the sharing of the N450million campaign fund.
Belgore was testifying under cross examination, in a Money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
EFCC charged Belgore and a former Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Sulaiman, on a nine-count charge bordering on the alleged offences.
They had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail.
Belgore, who is a former campaign coordinator of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, had concluded his testimony in defence of the charge on April 12, while the court had adjourned for cross examination.
At the last adjourned date on May 6, a second defence counsel, Mr Tayo Oyetibo had comcluded his cross examination of Belgore.
When trial resumed on Wednesday, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, appeared for the prosecution, while Mr Ebun Shofunde (SAN) appeared for Belgore.
Under cross examination by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the defendant told the court that the stakeholders also authorised the formula with which the disbursement was made.
According to him, the decision to disburse the campaign funds and the list of recipients was made at a meeting of the state’s PDP stakeholders.
Querried further by Oyedepo, he also said that he did not give any written instructions to share the money to the stakeholders, contending that the instructions came from his party.
He told the court that he did not have a copy of that instruction.
The defendant denied that N80mIllion was apportioned to the campaign coordinator or his office, contending that funds allocated was on the instructions of the stakeholders.
He told the court that the stakeholders’ meeting was to allocate funds to Local Governments and their Chairmen and that the funds were to be given to the Chairmen and representatives, adding that he was not aware if it was changed.
The defendant confirmed that at the stakeholders’ meeting, people were nominated to collect monies, but denied knowledge about collection of the said monies as he was not there.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa had adjourned until June 17 for continuation of cross examination by the prosecution, at 10 a.m.
In the nine count charge, the EFCC alleged that Diezani (said to be at large) conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
They were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorised by law, without going through the financial institutions.
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