Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos State that the N1.6 billion linked to him was meant for a church project.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Dudafa, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan as senior special assistant on domestic affairs, before Justice Mohammed Idris.
During his examination-in-chief by his counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), following the commencement of his defence to the alleged fraud charge, Dudafa said the N1.6 billion linked to him was proceeds of donations towards a church project.
According to him, the money was part of the N6 billion realised from the launch towards the building of a youth development centre in Otuoke by the Anglican community.
He said: “From my interactions with former President Goodluck Jonathan, I know that the funds were proceeds of a launching that was conducted by the Anglican Communion of Otuoke community for the building of St. Stephens Youth Development Centre, Otuoke.
“The launching, which was done in Lagos on March 16, 2013, was organised by the former president as a member and grand patron of the Anglican Communion.
“About N6 billion was realised from the event. Several persons made various donations at the event, while the chief launcher, Prince Arthur Eze, pledged $10 million (about N1.8 billion), which he promised to redeem piecemeal.”
Dudafa said his boss later mandated him to follow up on Eze.
“When Prince Eze started redeeming his pledge piecemeal, the former president directed that I get somebody in the private sector that will be able to keep the fund.
“I then brought in a friend, Somprie Omiebi, who later opened an account with a bank in Bayelsa State. The naira-denominated account was opened to receive Prince Eze’s money,” he stated.
Further hearing in the matter continues today.