A former group general manager at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Rotimi Oyedepo, narrated to the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday how he delivered 12 padlocked bags containing $70m to an Abuja-based banker on the instructions of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, sometime in 2015.
The ex-NNPC GM appeared as a prosecution witness in the trial of a former executive director, First Bank, Dauda Lawal, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on money laundering charges.
The EFCC accused Lawal of handling $25m out of a total of $153m, which Diezani allegedly doled out to influence the 2015 general elections.
The trial opened on Thursday before Justice Muslim Hassan, with the ex-NNPC GM appearing as the first prosecution witness.
Led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Oyedepo narrated how he delivered the cash-loaded bags to the Abuja banker, one Charles, in the front of Dume Supermarket in Abuja.
The witness said, “My Lord, as I can remember, shortly before the 2015 elections, it was the norm for heads of subsidiaries (of the NNPC) to be invited for undisclosed briefing of activities of their departments to the minister.
“At the end of such briefings, the then Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, gave me a GSM number in respect of one Charles, whom I had never met, with a clear instruction that I should convey 12 padlocked bags to the said Charles.