Court Adjourns Dele Belgore’s alleged N450m fraud trial to March 27
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned further hearing in the trial of Muhammad Dele Belgore, SAN, to March 27, 2019.
Belgore is standing trial alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, for allegedly receiving the sum of N450m on March 27, 2015 out of the $115,010,000 paid into Fidelity Bank Plc by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
At the resumed hearing today, E.O. Shofunde, SAN, counsel to the first defendant, Belgore, applied that the CCTV footage (exhibit P12) be viewed in court. When asked by his counsel to state his observation from the footage, Belgore said there were two different dates in it.
According to him, “The date on the top reads March 8, 2017, while the one at the bottom reads March 26, 2015.” Belgore added that he did not see himself in the video.
Also, when asked to explain to the court what transpired at the bank in view of the claim by the first prosecution witness, PW1, Timothy Afolabi, that he had instruction to pay him despite the fact that he had no account with Fidelity Bank, Belgore said “I received a call from the headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, informing me that money had been sent to Fidelity Bank.
“It was a service rendered by a banking institution, in this case, Fidelity Bank. Afolabi never asked if I had any account with the bank at the time of the transaction. He was emphatic about the instructions he had from the PDP headquarters.”
Belgore further refuted the claims by both Afolabi and second prosecution witness, PW2, Usman Zakari, that the N450,000,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) was the money from various oil marketers paid on the instruction of Diezani.
“I had no knowledge about the funds coming from oil marketers. “I have never met Mrs. Diezani. The money sent to me was raised from various fundraisers held by the PDP campaign headquarters in Abuja; and up till now, no one has told me otherwise, other than PW 1 and PW 2.”
The case has been adjourned to March 27 and April 10, 2019 for continuation of trial.