The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has exposed an intricate web of illegal transfer of funds from the SAS Imprest Account of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to accounts operated by a former Minister of State (Defence), Musiliu Obanikoro, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and their cronies.
Detectives at the anti-graft agency put the total amount of funds diverted to Messrs. Obanikoro and Fayose from the $2.1billion arms procurement cash domiciled with the ONSA under embattled Sambo Dasuki, at about N4.745billion.
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The transfer of the slush funds coincided with the conduct of the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Others linked with the sharing of the slush funds include Fayose’s associate, Abiodun Agbele (Alias Abbey); his wife, Mrs. Helen Olayemi Fayose; Obanikoro’s sons – Gbolahan and Babajide – Ikenna Ezekwe; Sylvan Mcnamara Limited (a company allegedly run by the Obanikoros); Spotless Hotel, owned by Fayose and De Privateer Limited, which is owned by Agbele.
Investigations by the EFCC also revealed that no less than 30 bureaux de change operators converted N759, 384, 300 (out of the N4.745billion) into dollars.
Some of the BDC operators and the amounts credited to them include A.A.G.B.S Oil and Gas (N168,000,000.00); Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd (N167,500,000.00); Northline Ltd (N835,000.00); Northline Ltd (N83,750,000.00); Five Star Ltd N(37,600,000.00); A.B.A Trading Ent (N268,301,500.00); Villagolf Bureaux De (N1,425,000.00); Ahmad Ahmad & Omar (N350,000.000); Northline Ltd (N1,680,000.00); Northline Limited A (N2,325,300); Rehoboth Homes (N20,000,0000); Northline Ltd (N5,932,500.00); Northline Ltd (N842,500); Northline Ltd (N842,500.00).
Sylvan Mcnamara Limited incorporated in November 2011 and allegedly owned by Obanikoro and his sons, was used to launder the N4.745billion.
The directors of the company are: a close aide of the ex-Minister, Ikenna Ezekwe (700,000 shares) of 51 Simpson Street, Ebute-Metta; Idowu Oshodi (299,000 shares) of 8, Prince Tayo Adesanya Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi; and Elizabeth Adebiyi (1,000 shares) of 3, Adedoyin Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere.
While the board of directors of the company passed a resolution on May 7, 2012 appointing Ezekwe, the younger Obanikoros and Ms. Theresa Matuluko (Secretary) as the signatories to its bank account, it added that the signing combination be that any of the signatories can sign alone.
According to investigations by the EFCC, when it was time to illegally draw the N4.745billion from ONSA for the Ekiti guber polls, the former minister made the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited available and coordinated the disbursement.
The breakdown of the disbursement of the N4.745billion indicated that N759, 384, 300 was changed into dollars through bureaux de change; N160million spent on cars through Balmoral International Limited; N1, 219, 490,000 ferried by Obanikoro in two flights to a branch of Zenith Bank at Plot 13, Alagbaka Estate, Akure where it was evacuated and received by Fayose’s associate, Abiodun; while the balance of about N2billion was withdrawn by Obanikoro and his two children in cash.
According to a document detailing the EFCC’s findings, “On June 12, 2014, the sum of N1, 219, 490,000 was flown from Lagos to Akure Airport by Musiliu Obanikoro through a chartered plane (HS 125 jet) with a tail number N638MA. The plane belongs to Okin Travels which is a subsidiary of Elizade Motors. But the aircraft was then managed by OAS Helicopters for commercial/ chartered service.
“The ex-minister was accompanied by his military Aide-de-Camp who introduced himself as A.O. Adewale.
“The N1, 219, 490,000 was in two consignments but flown in the same aircraft twice in the morning and in the evening. From FAAN records, the first cash of N724, 500,000 arrived at Akure Airport at an estimated time of 9.38am and the second was at 17.57hours.
“A bullion van was brought by Zenith Bank to the tarmac at the airport in Akure to evacuate the cash to Zenith Bank at Plot 13, Alagbaka Estate, Akure.
“Obanikoro handed over the funds to Fayose’s associate, Abiodun Agbele (alias Abbey). This Abiodun in company with the bank officials moved the money to Zenith Bank in Akure”.
The investigation by the anti-graft agency revealed how the N1, 219, 490,000 was shared to Fayose and others by Agbele.
According to investigation, the cash, which took bank officials 10 days to count, was not paid into any account but was kept in a vault in the bank by the officials, who refused to make entry until it was counted.
It was after the figure was confirmed that Agbele was used to coordinate the disbursement of the funds.
Five days after the governorship polls was conducted, precisely on June 26, 2014, Agbele, now at large, paid N137million into Fayose’s account 10003126654 with Zenith Bank through Teller-0556814.
Two months later, the wanted associate paid another sum of N50million into the same account. Exactly five days after this deposit by Agbele, the bank’s records showed that he paid another N118, 760,000 into Fayose’s account.
Based on the transfers, the EFCC was able to establish that the Ekiti governor moved N300million to a Fixed Deposit Account No 9013074033 with Zenith Bank at 15, Olusola Abiona Street, Olorunda Estate, Alapere Ketu.
The bank accounts have the same BVN – 22338867502 – belonging to Fayose.
“After that, Abiodun deposited another N100million from the N1, 219, 490,000 into Spotless Hotel Account run by Fayose and Helen Olayemi Fayose with Account No. 1010170969, Fayose’s BVN is 223338867502 and Helen’s BVN in the account is 22298990256.
The governor and his wife are the directors and only signatories to the hotel’s account.
In the course of the investigation, the EFCC team also dug up how De Privateer Limited (a company owned by Abiodun Agbele) with Account No. 1013835889 received N219, 490,000 on June 18, 2014.
The following day, the same account received N300million and another N200million on June 23, 2014. The BVN of the account is 22235692890.
These startling revelations came on the heels of the freezing of Fayose’s personal bank account on Monday and last week’s raid on the residences of his Obanikoro and his sons in Lagos by the EFCC.