'I bought $9.8 million from ECOWAS Staff', Bureau de Change operator tells court

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The trial of Mohammed Dangana, a staff of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Commission continued on December 16, 2019, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja with the third witness, Adedeji Jide Adelabu, a bureau de change operator telling the court that he purchased dollars to the tune of $9.8 million from the defendant.

Dangana, an executive assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat Abuja, is under prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 15-count charge, bordering on criminal diversion of funds, misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of over N587.7million.

According to Adelabu all the naira payments made for the purchase of the estimated $9.8 million were done at the agreed rates to the various accounts provided by the defendant, adding the payments were dully confirmed received as instructed, with the dollar proceeds given to them accordingly.

The witness gave details of some of the transactions involving the defendant to the tune of $1 million on June 30, 2016, and another transaction of $1 million on July 4, 2019, at the prevailing rate of N347 to a dollar.

Adelabu added that other transactions were done afterward and that in total, an approximate sum of $9.8 million was purchased and all payments were made as directed by the defendant.

When asked about his relationship with Cactus Facility Management Company, into which several million were paid, he said he had no relationship outside the instructions given to make payments to the account.

The witness told the court that payments were made into various accounts, including  Dashad & Co, Rite Option Ventures Ltd, Crossgains Trading and Investment Ltd, Cactus Facility Management Company, Saldano Chambers, ECOWAS account and others.

The matter was adjourned until December 17, 2019, for continuation of trial.

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