Emefiele: I was forced to give $600,000 bribe for contract payment – Witness

At the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, a startling revelation emerged during the trial of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Victor Onyejiuwa, the Managing Director of Resource Computer Limited, testified that he was coerced into paying a hefty bribe of $600,000 to secure payment for a contract his company executed for the apex bank. Onyejiuwa, under examination by prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, detailed his firm’s provision of specialized hardware and software solutions for security, networking, storage, and backup to CBN from 2014 to 2019.

He recounted the pressure he faced in 2017, when Resource Computer was awarded a contract for “enterprise storage and servers.” Allegedly, an official warned that unless he complied with demands, payment approval would be withheld. Yielding to the pressure after deliberations, Onyejiuwa arranged $400,000 and $200,000 to expedite payment, which ensued within weeks.

Notably, he revealed that amidst fluctuating exchange rates, the contract’s value peaked at $1.2 billion, and smaller sums of N24 million and N17 million were also disbursed. Justice Rahman Oshodi presiding, adjourned proceedings to May 17 for further deliberation.

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