Alleged N450m Fraud: EFCC Names Recipients Of N126.5m Disbursed By Belgore

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Wednesday, told Justice Rilwan Aikwa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how Muhammed Belgore, a governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2011 Kwara State gubernatorial election, had disbursed a sum of N126.5m to some members of the Kwara Senatorial Districts in cash out of the alleged N450m paid by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

At the resumed hearing Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked Belgore if he recalled that he had stated, in his evidence, that he saw the money (N450,000,000.00) at the bank, signed the receipt and instructed the bank to safe-keep it for him.

Oyedepo further asked Belgore if he recalled that he also stated in his evidence that he called a stakeholders’ meeting upon receipt of the money.

In his response, Belgore said: “Yes, I called a stakeholders’ meeting. It was at the meeting we discussed the disbursement of the money and agreed that each Senatorial district should nominate two people each, who would collect money for their district.”

When the prosecution counsel asked Belgore, under cross-examination, if he gave any written instructions to disburse the money the bank was keeping on his behalf, he said: “It is true I did not have any written instructions for the disbursements.”

When asked if he had ever had cause to issue instructions to any bank where he is not a customer, Belgore said: “I have not issued any instructions to a bank, where I am not a customer.”

Consequently, Oyedepo put it to Belgore that he disbursed the sum of over N126.5m to various beneficiaries out of the N450m as agreed in the stakeholders meeting, adding that “ Mr. Zikrullah Balogun, your Personal Assistant, made several disbursements on your instructions and received in cash N80m, Mr. Sheriff Shagaya received N50m, Mr. Isa Beau received in cash N61.65m ; Mrs. Shola Adeoti received in cash N102.29m, Iyola Oyedepo received in cash N9.57m and Senator Sulaiman Ajadi received in cash the sum of N19.68m

Belgore told the court that the stakeholders gave him instructions, which he passed to his Personal Assistant, Balogun, to carry out.

“Yes, I was informed that they all received the money and it was paid in cash,” he further stated.

Justice Aikawa adjourned the case to June 17, 2019 for continuation of cross-examination.

Author: News Editor

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