A former Unity Bank top official on Thursday, said the $2.2million received from former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, was for repayment of a N300 million loan he obtained.
Former Acting Managing Director, Rislanudeen Mohammed, spoke at the Federal High Court in Abuja during the ongoing trial of Adoke and Aliyu Abubakar.
The duo are standing trial on a 14-count amended criminal charge bordering on alleged money laundering and corruption preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mohammed, an EFCC witness, explained that the loan was liquidated when Adoke handed over to him a sum of $2.2 million and that when converted to naira, it exceeded the principal loan amount.
He disclosed that the former AGF collected the balance and closed the account after Unity Bank deducted all necessary interest regarding the transaction.
Under cross-examination by Adoke’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, he said: “I received the money as an agent of the bank. The money is not available to be confiscated because it is not the proceeds of crime. The money is not in Adoke’s account because it belongs to the bank.”
Mohammed further told the court that collecting the money from Adoke’s house did not in any way constitute an offence because he acted as an agent of the financial institution.
The witness said upon the full payment of the loan, the title deed used as security was released by Unity Bank to the second defendant as an indication that the loan has been fully defrayed.
The first prosecution witness, a manager in charge of foreign exchange trade at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Clement Osagie, tendered foreign exchange transaction rates covering August, September and October, 2013 and was admitted as exhibits.
Under cross-examination by Olalekan Ojo, lawyer to the second defendant, Osagie, who stated that the documents tendered were generated from the electronic system of the CBN, said he was not a personnel of the Information Technology department.
The official disclosed that licenced Bureau de Change operators file reports of transactions in CBN forex which are kept by the Trade and Exchange department but he could not speak on their activities.
The court adjourned till September 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 for continuation of the trial.