Dele Belgore (SAN), the Kwara State campaign Coordinator for former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, debunked the allegation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he laundered the sum of N450m in 2015.
Belgore was prosecuted before the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly benefiting N450m alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, on a 9-count amended charge.
However, while testifying in his own defence on Monday, Belgore admitted being invited by the bank manager on March 26, 2015, to take delivery of the N450m cash, but he said he ended up leaving the bank without the money.
The SAN, who said he was the Kwara State Coordinator of then President Goodluck Jonathan re-election campaign, said he did not collect the N450m because on getting to the bank he realised that the money was too huge for his Toyota Prado jeep.
In his words; “I indicated to the bank manager that I could not collect the money and I gave two reasons.
“First, I said this money was coming two days before the election. All the stakeholders and party members were aware of the arrival of the money and therefore, I did not consider it safe to move such a huge amount of money out of the bank in the middle of the night.
“The second reason was that I did not come prepared to receive and take away such a large amount of money, as I came only in my vehicle, a Toyota Prado jeep.
“As I said earlier, the heap of cash that I saw in the bank’s loading bay was at least three to four feet high.
“So, I told the bank manager that if it took a bullion van to transport the cash from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the bank, there was no way I would be able to evacuate those funds with my Toyota
“After signing the document, I left the bank without the money. I did not take a penny out of the bank; I left the bank empty-handed,” he said.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned further proceedings till February 28, 2019, at the instance of Belgore’s lawyer, Mr Ebun Shofunde (SAN), who said he needed time to review the CCTV footage of the events that took place within the banking hall on March 26, 2015, when Belgore and Suleiman visited.