EFCC list Obanikoro, 21 others as witnesses in Fayose’s criminal trial
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has listed 22 witnesses including a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, in the criminal prosecution of Ayodele Fayose.
The anti-graft agency filed an 11-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering against Fayose, the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, accusing him of benefitting from N4.65billion slush funds allocated by the Office of National Security Adviser(ONSA) during the Goodluck Jonathan Administration.
The agency said that Fayose was allegedly allocated ₦6.5 billion from the funds.
Other key witnesses are a former Director of Finance in the office of National Security Adviser, Salisu Shuaibu Spotless Limited, a company owned by Fayose, a gubernatorial candidate in Abia State, Alex Otti, and Ayotunde Owope, who was Fayose’s account officer.
Less than 24 hours after he left office, October 16, Fayose submitted himself to the anti-corruption agency in the company of Nyesom Wike, the Rivers State Governor, and Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and he has been in their custody since then.
EFCC said the former Ekiti governor called Obanikoro, who was a federal minister in 2014 when he was seeking re-election, to ask if he had been reached by the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Obanikoro and Fayose were members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at that time, before Obanikoro defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) last November.
“Senator Obanikoro answered in the negative but promised to call the NSA and revert back to him,” the EFCC stated.
“He (Obanikoro) spoke to the then NSA who informed him that he had a message which will be transmitted through him to Ayodele Fayose and further requested for an account in which the said message will be transferred or delivered for onward transfer or delivery to Ayodele Fayose.
“Senator Obanikoro then called Fayose and confirmed to him that a message will be delivered to him any moment from that time as confirmed by the NSA. He sourced for an account Slyvan Mcnamara Limited and forwarded same to the NSA, Sambo Ibrahim Dasuki.
“On 5th June, the first transaction of N200 million entered into the account and on 16th June, 2014, the sum of N2 Billion was transferred into the account, making it a total sum of N2.2 Billion paid into Mcnamara with Diamond Bank domiciled in Lagos.”
The EFCC said Mr Obanikoro acknowledged receipt of the funds and was instructed by Mr Sambo, a retired colonel, to pass the money to Mr Fayose.
“Ayodele Fayose called Senator Obanikoro several times before the money eventually came and on his last call, he confirmed the transfer of the money into the account and the instruction of NSA. Ayodele Fayose said N1.2 billion of the money should be made available in cash while the balance should be converted into Dollars.
“These instructions were carried out by him (Obanikoro). The sum of about N1 billion was given to various Bureau De Change for conversion into dollars.
“The dollars that were available about $4 million plus was personally handed, delivered to Fayose Ayodele, then-candidate of PDP at the time by him in Ado Ekiti at Spotless Hotel, while the balance of $1 million was later collected by his SAA late Justin Erukea who brought it to him in Ekiti which he also handled over to Mr. Ayodele Fayose.”
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