A former operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abubakar Madaki, has told a Federal High Court in Lagos how a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, handed over N1.2bn cash to former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose.
Fayose and his firm, Spotless Investment Limited, are being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly laundering N6.9 billion.
Obanikoro had earlier narrated before the court how N1.2 billion was allegedly taken to Fayose, using an aircraft.
In continuation of his evidence on Friday, Madaki, who is the 13th prosecution witness, told Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that out of the money, the former Ekiti State governor bought property worth N270 million from one Rabiu Kundili in Abuja and also deposited N100 million in a fixed deposit account.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, the former EFCC operative stated that between June 17 and 24, 2014, a N150 million cash deposit was lodged into the bank account of the second defendant (Spotless Investment Limited), by one Biodun Agbele, an aide to Fayose.
The witness further told the court that on August 24, 2016, N168 million was also deposited into the second defendant’s bank account.
He maintained that the money was released from an account in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and was part of monies under the control of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)
Madaki adds that the claim by the first defendant (Fayose) that the N1.2bn received from Obanikoro was the campaign funds from his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was investigated.
He said, ”In our investigation, we contacted the Peoples Democratic Party secretariat in Abuja. The party denied receiving any money from the National Security Adviser, or the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The party also said it did not give any campaign money to Senator Musiliu Obanikoro to give to the first defendant.
“So the funds moved from Diamond Bank to Zenith Bank were the funds that came from the impress account which is under the control of the Office of the National Security Adviser to President Goodluck, Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.”
He said an opportunity was given to the first defendant and his associate, Agbele, to explain the source of the huge sum of money deposited into the account of the second defendant but they could not give any reasonable explanation.
Aneke adjourned the matter till November 24 for continuation of trial.
Fayose and his company were re-arraigned before Aneke for alleged money laundering and non-declaration of his assets after an initial arraignment before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on October 22, 2018.
The EFCC re-arraigned Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited on an 11-count bordering on money laundering and stealing to the tune of N6.9 billion.
In the amended charge, Fayose, and Agbele, who is also standing trial on alleged money laundering offences before another division of the court, were alleged to have on June 17, 2014, taken possession of N1.219 billion to fund Fayose’s 2014 governorship campaign in Ekiti State.
They were accused of committing criminal breach of trust, theft and stealing of public funds.
They were also alleged to have on the same June 17, 2014, without going through financial institutions, received $5 million from Obanikoro, who was the Minister of State for Defence.
The offences, according to the EFCC, are contrary to Sections 15 (2)(d); 1 and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and punishable under Sections 15 (3) (4); 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.
Fayose denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.