A former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro has testified against immediate past governor of Ekiti state, Ayode Fayose in a case between the later and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
According to Obanikoro, who was a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and a former ally of Fayose, he handed $5 million cash, to Fayose back in 2014.
Giving evidence before Mojisola Olatoregun, a judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, during the trial of Fayose, Obanikoro revealed that because the bank was unable to pay the equivalent of the money in naira, he had to give physical cash of N200 million to Mr Fayose on June 5, 2014, from the National Security Adviser’s imprest account.
Obanikoro while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, had this to say:
“on a Monday in June, 2014 I received a call from Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose, when we were approaching the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, wanting to know if there is any message from National Security Adviser Col Sambo Dasuki but I replied no.
“But shortly after his call, a message came in from NSA saying certain amount of money will be received into the account that was opened to manage Boko Haram threat under my watch as minister of state for defence. NSA told me that Fayose will call me as to how he will receive the money.”
“A total equivalent of $5 million from National Security Adviser impress account was given to Fayose by the order of NSA.”
He recounted also how Fayose introduced one “Biodun Agbele to me that he would be the one to receive the money for him which was done in Akure Airport because it was physical cash.”
“I had earlier wanted to transfer the dollars so that the Naira equivalent can be withdrawn in Ado Ekiti, which was the reason why I initially called Diamond Bank M.D but he replied that the bank does not have such capacity in Ado Ekiti for that huge amount of money.”
Kanu Agabi, a senior advocate, Fayose’s counsel then applied for an adjournment to enable him to cross-examine Obanikoro. Olatoregun, therefore adjourned the case to February 4th,5th and 6th, 2019.
The case against the former governor by the EFCC centers on allegations that he and his company, Spotless, received various funds from former National Security Advised, Sambo Dasuki. The funds were said to be have been meant for arms procurement to combat Boko Haram insurgency.