Witness testifies how Fayose, firm allegedly received N1.2b
• Businessman dupes over 20,000 investors N7b •EFCC not debt recovery agency, court rules
• Kawu, others to be arraigned over N2.5 billion fraud
Prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, yesterday, told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, how the defendant and his company received N1.219 billion from a new generation bank in the build-up to the Ekiti governorship election in 2014.
Fayose was arraigned alongside his company, Spotless Investment Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on October 22, 2018, on an 11-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
In his testimony, the bank’s head, Business Development and Safety, Akure branch, said: “On June 17, 2014, I received a call from my Head of Operations (name withheld) that a customer of the bank would be coming to make a deposit. He also instructed me to provide security to pick up the cash from the airport.
“While it was being bundle-counted, N1.219 billion was taken to a bank in Akure. I gathered that the cash was lodged into three accounts namely: De-Privateer Limited, Spotless Investment Limited and Ayodele Fayose.”Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case till May 10 and 14, 2019 for continuation of trial.
The EFCC has also arrested a 35-year-old businessman, Babagana Dalori, who allegedly duped over 20,000 investors in his company of over N7 billion, The Guardian learnt.A source disclosed that Dalori, a 2010 graduate of Electrical Electronics from the University of Maiduguri, is the managing director of Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services.He had lured unsuspecting investors with mouth-watering return on investment (RoI) from 125 per cent to 200 per cent on their seed capitals in the company.
The business started in 2012 with a tricycle, and by 2014, he had been able to convince hundreds of people into investing in the business and made returns to them.But after a while, Dalori stopped paying dividends to his investors and would not even take their calls.
Some investors, who disclosed that their investment profiles in the company ranged from N2 million to N20 million, confirmed that they were never carried along in the multi-million naira investment.But a Federal High Court in Ibadan, Oyo State, has declared that the EFCC is not a debt agency, with no power to arrest anyone or investigate cases of debt recovery arising from breach of contract.
Justice Joyce Abdulmalik had on an April 1 judgement noted that the EFCC Act 2004 “does not” empower the commission to arrest or detain anyone, or investigate cases of breach of contract in business transactions. It held that the commission only has power to arrest, detain or investigate financial crimes, not civil transactions.
Meanwhile, the director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Dr. Ishaq Kawu, will be docked tomorrow over his alleged complicity in the misapplication of the N2.5 billion seed grant for Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme of the federal government.ICPC’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) will arraign Kawu, alongside the chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa; and the company’s chief operating officer, Mr. Dupo Onifade, before Justice Folashade Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja. The trio is facing a 12-count charge of abuse of office, money laundering and misleading a public officer with the intent to defraud the federal government.
The presidency had in 2016 released N10 billion to the Ministry of Information and Culture for the DSO programme and a White Paper directing how the process should be executed.Based on the guidelines provided by the White Paper, two companies were nominated to handle the process.
It was alleged that Kawu fraudulently recommended Pinnacle Communications, a private company, to the minister for the release of N2.5 billion against the guidelines contained in the White Paper.
As a result, the commission filed charges against him and his accomplices and secured March 12, 2019 for their arraignment.But the NBC boss failed to appear in court citing health reasons, thereby prompting Justice Giwa to order him to appear in court on the adjourned date, even if on a stretcher.
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