A Bureau de Change operator, Murtala Abubakar and star witness in the trial of former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Gooluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, on Wednesday told the Federal High Court in Lagos that he did not confirm the source of foreign currencies Dudafa asked him to convert to naira.
He however explained that he decided not to confirm the source because of the trust he had for Dudafa and his affiliation with Aso Rock.
Murtala Abubakar, had told the court on Monday during his evidence in chief that he received about N1.6 billion from Mr. Dudafa through five companies.
“He (Mr. Dudafa) usually sent two of his employees – Festus and Jahman – with dollars in order to change same and deposit the naira equivalent into specific accounts he provided via text messages,” said Mr. Abubakar.
But under cross examination during continuation of the trial, Dudafa’s lawyer, Gbenga Oyewole, asked Abubakar if the transaction he did with Dudafa was illegal.
“My Bureau De Change is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). I ensure the people I deal with are not criminals. My transactions with Dudafa are not in contravention of any CBN rules. If we know money is from a questionable source, we reject it,” he said.
The witness said he had no reason to doubt the source of currencies Dudafa gave him.
“I know that he is a public servant. He invited me to the Presidential Villa,” he said, adding that he had known Dudafa since when he was Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government.
Abubakar said Dudafa called him through different mobile lines, such as 08158430790, 08062999000, and 08189666600.
“He called to ask me how much a Pound Sterling was to naira,” he said.
Oyewole, however, said Dudafa did not have three mobile lines.
He asked the witness: “Will it surprise you to know that 08189666600 is the only registered line of the first defendant?” The witness replied: “Yes.”