How ECOWAS worker allegedly laundered money – Witness

The third prosecution witness (PW3), Adedeji Adelabu, a bureau de change operator, on Thursday, November 28, 2019, told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how Mohammed Dangana, a staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), instructed him to exchange and transfer millions of naira and foreign currencies to his personal accounts.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Mr Dangana for criminal diversion of funds, misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of over N500 million.

At the resumed trial Thursday, Mr Adelabu while being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, stated that one Mr Abubakar and Mr Oruma introduced Mr Dangana to him and he carried out two business transactions for the defendant between May and June 2016.

“The first transaction was the exchange of $1.5 million to naira, at the rate of N345.5 to one dollar. Mr. Dangana instructed me to pay the sum of N344, 925,000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty- four Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Naira (N344, 925,000.00) to ECOWAS account and another N72, 030,000.00, (Seventy-two Million, Thirty Thousand Naira) was paid to the account of Saldano Chambers, domicile in GT Bank (Guaranty Trust Bank). He also instructed me to pay another N1.5 million (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira), to Saldano Chambers,” he stated.

He further revealed that on June 30, 2016, there was another transaction for exchange of $1 million at the rate of N347 to a U.S. dollar. From the naira equivalent, he disclosed that N289.7 million was paid to ECOWAS Community account; N55.3 million was paid to Marab Concept General Limited, while the balance of N2,000,000 was paid to Dukawa Nigeria Enterprise Ltd.

The defence counsel, J.P Uchechukwu, who stood in for Mr Onyezubelu cross-examined the witness, after which the prosecution counsel sought the admission of the tendered documents, which met an objection from the defence counsel.

Justice Abang adjourned the matter until December 16, 2019 for continuation of cross-examination.

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