Afolabi Kazeem, personal assistant to a Badagry prince Semasa James, on Thursday denied aiding him to defraud his 26 siblings of N500 million inheritance.
Mr Kazeem told Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court that he also did not benefit from the alleged fraud.
The prince is one of the offspring of the late Oba Afolabi James of Kweme Land, Badagry, Lagos. He is also one of the administrators of his deceased father’s estate.
The prince faces a five-count charge of stealing, forging of company resolution, fraudulent disposal of trust property and forgery, while he and Kazeem are jointly charged with conspiracy to defraud and cheating.
Led in evidence by defence counsel Martins Oyingbo, Kazeem told the court that he is a first cousin to the 27 warring princes and princesses.
He testified that he was involved in the disbursement of funds from the estate.
“I am a first cousin to the children, and my relationship with them is cordial; we have no issues, everyone is happy with one another.
“As relates to the estate, by virtue of the work I do with Mr James (first defendant), the children come to me and I disburse funds from the estate,” he said.
Kazeem denied stealing N150 million for himself or anyone from the estate as alleged in counts six and seven of the charge.
He said he earned a monthly salary of N150,000 while working with the first defendant, and denied syphoning funds from the estate’s account in the guise of estate expenses.
The alleged offences contravene Sections 383(1), 383(2)(f), 390(9), 421,434, 465 and 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The case was adjourned until September 24.