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Tag Archives: Ayo Fayose

Fayose’s trial: I lied to EFCC to help a friend, says Lebanese contractor

The N2.2bn fraud trial of former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose progressed on Wednesday with the prosecution fielding four additional witnesses.

Among the four witnesses were three Lebanese – Goshen Joseph; Joseph Mechleb and Maroun Mechleb – who are working in Nigeria as building and construction engineers.

Mechleb, who was fielded as PW10, is the Chief Executive Officer of a construction firm, Samchase Nigeria Limited, which is based in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Mechleb told the court that he had done various jobs for both the Federal Government and some states, including Ekiti State.

He said he did jobs for Ekiti State in 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2016 when Fayose was governor of the state.

Mechleb told the court that the jobs he did for Ekiti State were facilitated by Abiodun Agbele – an aide to Fayose.

He said there was an agreement that he would “appreciate” Agbele for every contract he facilitated for Samchase Nigeria Limited.

Mechleb said though the “appreciation” was not specified, it was usually about 10 per cent of the contract sum

The Lebanese, who told the court that he could neither write nor read English language, said the scope of the contracts was usually communicated verbally, saying, “We agreed that when he got jobs for me, I will appreciate him.

“We did not specify but it’s around 10 per cent.”

Mechleb told the court that he once lied to the EFCC about owning a property on Agbele’s instructions.

He said he falsely claimed ownership of the property in order to help Agbele, whom he described as a friend.

The Lebanese had been asked by Jacobs if he knew of a company, JJ Technical Services Limited, to which he replied that the firm belongs to his younger brother and brother-in-law, Maroun Mechleb and Joseph Mechleb, respectively.

He said his brother once approached him to help get some jobs for JJ Technical Services Limited, because since the company was incorporated in 2007, it never got any job.

APC defeats PDP in Fayose’s polling unit

Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, on Saturday failed to deliver his polling unit and ward in his hometown Afao Ekiti in Irepodun Ifelodun local government area of the state to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The All Progressives Congress (APC) swept the ward in the house of assembly election.

At Fayose’s unit at St David’s Primary School , the APC candidate in Irepodun/Ifelodun constituency (2), Hakeem Jamiu, polled 168 votes to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Sunday Omosilade, who got 26 votes.

Drama as Fayemi embraces Fayose in public

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state and Ayodele Fayose, his predecessor, were the cynosure of eyes at a ceremony in honour of Afe Babalola, a revered lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Babalola was honoured with the 2018 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership at an event, which took place at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday.

It was attended by dignitaries such as Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, Emeka Anyaoku, former secretary-general of Commonwealth, prominent traditional rulers and politicians.

Fayemi, who delivered a speech, was walking to his seat when Fayose stood to greet him. Responding, Fayemi threw his arms wide open as both men got locked in a warm embrace.

The governor had initially made veiled reference to Fayose, taunting the man he succeeded last year over his “stomach infrastructure” policy.

“I am immensely proud that baba ( Afe Babalola) is from Ekiti. You have restored our values for us. With you around, at least no one can accuse us of being the state of stomach infrastructure. They will definitely regard us as the fountain of knowledge,” he said.

But not minding the criticism, Fayose, who had in the past, attacked the incumbent governor, displayed a rare show of love.

Both men raised their hands in solidarity as sounds of clap and laughter erupted in the hall. The gesture was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the ceremony.

Fayemi defeated Kolapo Olusola, Fayose’s deputy, in the last gubernatorial election in the state.

Fayose had described his successor’s victory as pyrrhic, saying his party would work tirelessly until it gets justice.

“We will reclaim the stolen mandate in the court by the power of God. As for me, I am Peter Ayodele Fayose, I hold with my head high. I can never be suppressed. I don’t lose battles and I will not lose this. By the power of God, I will laugh last,” he had said.

The former governor put that aside momentarily at the programme in honour of Babalola.

Court threatens to jail Obanikoro

A Lagos High Court judge has threatened to jail former Minister of Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, for failing to appear in court to give evidence in the trial of erstwhile Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose on corruption charges.

Obanikoro, who was to continue his evidence under cross examination on Thursday, did not show up.

EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told the court that he (Obanikoro) was hospitalised and presented a piece of paper as medical report from an undisclosed clinic.

But Justice Mojisola Olatoregun threatened to commit Obanikoro to prison “so that he can be coming to court in black maria and that if she wanted to take up the matter, the clinic and the doctor who signed report will lose their licences.

“He must present himself to the court at the next adjourned date or be compelled to do so,” the judge said.

Obanikoro had earlier said it was painful for him to be giving evidence against Fayose, who he considers a friend.

The matter wasbadjourned till March 18, 19 and 20 of March, 2019

N2.2bn fraud trial: It’s painful testifying against Fayose, says Obanikoro

Musiliu Obanikoro, former minister of state for defence, says it is painful testifying against Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state.

Obanikoro is one of the witnesses testifying against Fayose, who is standing an alleged N2.2bn fraud trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Fayose for allegedly taking N2.2bn from the office of Sambo Dasuki, ex-national security adviser (NSA) for his governorship election in 2014.

The EFCC said Fayose received the N2.2bn from Dasuki, through Obanikoro.

While being cross-examined by Olalekan Ojo, Fayose’s counsel, Obanikoro said he was testifying against Fayose reluctantly because they enjoyed a good relationship while they were both members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

At a federal high court in Lagos on Monday, Obanikoro said despite testifying against Fayose, he would not want their relationship to be destroyed.

“I’m trying to restrain myself from saying things that will further damage our relationship,” Obanikoro told the lawyer.

“It’s painful for me to give evidence against him (Fayose); no doubt about it. It is indeed very painful.”

Obanikoro also denied reports that his properties were seized by the EFCC before he agreed to appear as the prosecution witness.

“At no point was any of my property confiscated during the investigation to the best of my knowledge,” Obanikoro said.

“The newspaper reports on confiscation of my properties can be said to be wrong. They were selling their papers.”

Obanikoro testifies against Fayose in court

Former Minister of Defence former Senator Musiliu Obanikoro on Monday testified in the on going trial of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose who is standing trial alongside his company Spotless in a #6.9bn allegedly to have been syphoned through the coffers of the National Security Adviser(NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Obanikoro been led in evidence by EFCC counsel Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court Lagos, that “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 enter from NSA saying certain amount of money will be received into the account that was opened to manage Hoko 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 $5m from National Security Adviser impress account was given to Fayose by the order of NSA.

Obanikoro said that Fayose introduce one Biodun Agbele to him that he would be the one to receive the money on his behalf 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 Managing Director but he replied that the bank does not have such capacity in Ado Ekiti for that huge amount of money .

Obanikoro said that the sum of N200 million was given to Fayose on the June 5, 2014 from National Security Adviser impress account.

He equally said that the sum of N2 billion was delivered to Fayose during Ekiti state election in 2014 from National Security Adviser impress account on June 16, 2014.

Obanikoro said his Aide who is now late was in the meeting where Fayose acknowledged the receipt of total naira equivalent of $5m at Spotless Hotel, Ado Ekiti owned by Fayose.

Fayose’s  counsel Kanu Agabi SAN applied for an adjournment to enable him cross exermine Obanikoro.

Counsel to Fayose’s company Mr Olalekan Ojo SAN who is also joint as a second defendant in the charge also urged Justice Olatoregun to adjourned the case to enable him conferred with his client on the evidence of Obanikoro.

Justice Olatoregun relunctanctly adjourned the case to February 4,5,and 6 2019.

EFCC had accused Fayose of receiving various funds from the office of former National Security Adviser impress account which is meant for security purposes.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their two bank accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the accused was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravened the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

Fayose involved in accident on third mainland bridge

Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, was involved in an accident on third mainland bridge in Lagos on Wednesday.

Lere Olayinka, media aide of the former governor, announced this on Twitter.

He said Fayose was in a stable condition and receiving medical treatment.

“Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose was involved in auto accident on 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, a few minutes ago. He is in stable condition as I write while he is receiving medical attention,” he wrote.

Olayinka later said that Fayose was in a private hospital in the state.

Last year, Fayose’s convoy was involved in a similar accident in Lagos but he escaped unhurt. A Mercedes G Wagon belonging to him got burnt.

I don’t need to probe Fayose, says Fayemi

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has clarified his stance on the fate of the immediate past governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose.

Fayemi who spoke with State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja explained that there was never a time he said he would probe Fayose.

He said, “Well, I am sure I have never said anything about probe.

“Looking into books is the duty of any new governor. You need to know what you found in place, I just talked about a visitation panel into the education sector in the state.

“There are other sectors in the state, and it will be remiss of me not to check what we found when we came into office and share that with the citizens of the state.

“It is just accountability not probe. I am not EFCC. I am not ICPC, there are institutions that are charged with the responsibility to do that and its entirely up to them if they want to probe the governor or not.

“ It is not my business, I leave Fayose to God, I have said that before.’’

Fayose is presently being prosecuted by the EFCC over 11 charges of conspiracy and money laundering.

(NAN)

EFCC opens Fayose’s trial

The prosecution on Monday opened its case before a Federal High Court Lagos in the criminal trial of immediate past Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, charged with N6.9 billion fraud.

Fayose was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Oct. 22 alongside his company — Spotless Investment Ltd on 11 counts.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the court granted him bail in the sum of N50million with one surety in like sum and adjourned until Monday the case for trial.

On Monday, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) appeared for the EFCC, while Messrs Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) represented the first and second accused respectively.

Jacobs then called on first prosecution witness, Mr Lawrence Akande, a banker in a commercial bank in charge of South West 1, comprising Ogun, Oyo and Osun States.

Led by the prosecutor, the witness told the court that in June 2014, he was called by one Abiodun Agbele, who informed him that he had about N1.2 billion cash lodgement to make in Akure.

He told the court that afterwards, he also received a call from Fayose on the same issue, adding that since the lodgement was in Akure, he placed a call across to his colleague in Akure to follow up same.

“This is all I know on this issue,” he said

When asked if he knew the second accused, (Spotless Ltd), he replied that the company is a customer of his bank with account at Dugbe branch.

The prosecutor then showed the witness some account opening document of Spotless Nig. Ltd, De Privateer Ltd, Still Earth Ltd as well as account document of first accused.

The witness confirmed the document and they were admitted by the court and marked exhibit A.

When asked where the account of Fayose was domiciled, the witness replied ” It is not domiciled within my domain but from the document before me here I can see Apapa,”

Prosecutor: ” Tell the court if the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) maintained an account with your bank,”

Witness: ” Not only PDP, but so many other political parties”

During cross examination, the witness told the court that he made statements to the EFCC, on June 6, 2016, and confirmed that he made no mention of the first accused in his earlier statement

Being cross-examined by defence counsel, (Agabi) he said that he only made mention of Fayose in his subsequent statements.

Defence then asked ” you said your colleagues handled the transactions, so it means your narration here is based on what you were told,”

The witness replied, ” I was told how the cash was processed.”

Defence : ” You had solicited for the defendant’s patronage before he came in as Governor. ”

Witness: “We solicited for patronage on the opening of government account with out bank, because part of my business is to look for deposits.”

Defence: “Until invited by the EFCC, you did not observe any abnormalities with this account,”

Witness: ” No”

During cross-examination by second defence counsel, (Ojo) the witness told the court that he had worked in banking sector for 28 years.

He confirmed to the court that a person who is not a signatory to an account cannot make withdrawals from such account.

According to the witness, there are withdrawal limits in every account and where withdrawals are to be made above the stipulated limits, it is reported to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to investigate such transaction.

Ojo: “With respect to cash lodgments into these companies, your bank never lodge any report of suspicious transaction, ”

The witness replied”We had no reason to do so,”

Ojo: “Do you confirm stating to the EFCC that before the account opening of De Privateer, the sums of N200 million was lodged in the acxount.,”

Witnes “Yes”

Defence: ” You agree that before June 2014, huge sums of money had been lodged in the account of De Privateer,”

Witness “Yes”

Ojo then asked ” Are you aware that the PDP before elections, organised fund raising, and do you know that political parties organise fund raising,’

Witness” It is not impossible but I don’t know,”

Ojo: ” I put it to you that you have never had any dealing with the account of the second defendant,”

The witness replied ” you are correct ”

Defence counsel then asked “your CCTV camera captures customers making lodgements in the bank,”

Witness: ” If it is not faulty, it should, ”

EFCC then called its second witness, Mr Abiodun Oshordi.

The witness introduced himself as the Zonal head of the bank, covering South West 2 which includes, Ondo, Kwara and Ekiti, adding that he also supervises all branches in the three localities.

Prosecutor: “Cast your mind to 2014 and tell the court what you know in relation to this case,”

The witness told the court that he received a call from his colleague (Akande) that Agbele will be coming to make some lodgments and that he should organise a bullion van.

He said that he waited for Agbele who arrived with one Sadiku and some escorts, adding that Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, and his aide, also accompanied them.

According to him, as soon as the aircraft arrived, he moved with the bullion van towards the plane to evacuate the money.

He said that the total sum amounted to N1.2billion, adding that they were lodged into accounts supplied by Agbele.

He said that they include: Spotless Nig. Ltd, De Privateer Ltd as well as personal account of the first accused, while some cash were taken to Ado-Ekiti.

When asked to look at the deposits in the account of Spotless Ltd from June 17 to Aug 4, 2014, he told the court that there was a lodgment of N100million on June 17.

He said that on June 23, there was a cash lodgement of N49milion, on June 24, a cash lodgement of N200,000, while on Aug. 4, there was a cash lodgement of N40 million.

According to him, on same Aug.4, there were also cash lodgements in the sums of N35million, N35million, N24million, N20million and N14 million respectively.

The witness told the court that Agbele made the deposit of June 17, while from the statement before him, he could see that it is written Ayo as depositor of the funds on Aug.4.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun has adjourned until Jan.21 and 28 for continuation of trial.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their two bank accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the accused was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravened the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

EFCC ‘seizes’ over 20 houses from Diezani, five from Fayose, Dasuki

Former governors, ex-ministers, top military officers and businessmen are among owners of the properties seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The highlights of the forfeiture were contained in a document obtained by The Nation.

The document indicates that the EFCC is empowered by the law to place all suspicious assets under interim assets forfeiture – in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC establishment act and section 13(1) of the federal high court act, 2004.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum, lost a multi-storey building in Banana Island Foreshore estate in Ikoyi, a real estate comprising six flats in Ikoyi and an estate of 21 mixed housing in Yaba, Lagos, among others.

Two properties owned by Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, in Kaduna and Abuja were also forfeited to the federal government.

Also, Haruna Momoh, a former managing director of PPMC, a subsidiary of Nigerian National Pertroleum Corporation(NNPC), reportedly lost two mansions in Maitama district, Abuja to the temporary forfeiture order.

The anti-graft agency also secured the final seizure of Flat 7B at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi where $43.45 million cash was recovered.

Other owners of the seized properties include Ibrahim Shema, ex-governor of Katsina stae, (20); Ayodele Fayose, ex-governor of Ekiti state (three); Babangida Aliyu, ex-governor of Niger state, (two); Bello Mohammed former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (one); Iyorchia Ayu, former senator (one); Isa Yuguda, former governor of Bauchi state, (one) and Abba Moro, ex-minister of interior (one) and Micheal Obasuyi, ex-managing director of Platinum Multi-purpose Cooperative Society Limited, who bought 134 buses, 20 houses with N11.4 billion slush cash.

According to Ibrahim Magu, EFCC chairman, about 407 mansions were seized by the agency from 2015 to 2018.

Magu said the forfeited assets have been handed over to the federal government for use by ministries, departments  and agencies.

“Hundreds of properties such as filling stations, petroleum products, land, jewellery, automobiles, real estate, vessels, hospitals, company shares and heavy machinery and broadcast equipment, have been seized from corrupt elements between 2015 and 2018,” he said.

“From 2015 to 2018, 407 mansions were seized, 126 have been forfeited finally and 281 are under interim forfeiture.

“Nine filling stations were seized and placed under interim forfeiture. Lands seized sums up to 98, of which 56 are under interim forfeiture while 42 have been forfeited finally to the federal government.”

Fayose regains freedom — after 13 days in EFCC custody

Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, has regained freedom after 13 days in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fayose, who is facing trial for alleged money laundering and abuse of office, walked into the commission’s head office in Abuja on October 16.

He was subsequently flown to Lagos and arraigned at a federal high court in Ikoyi. The court granted him a N50 million bail on Wednesday.

He was asked to provide a surety with landed property in Lagos. His guarantor is also required to have three-year tax clearance in Lagos. He could not fulfil his bail condition immediately.

Lere Olayinka, spokesman of the former governor, said he regained freedom on Monday evening.

Writing via his Twitter handle, Olayinka said the former governor will return to court on November 16.

JUST IN: Court grants Fayose N50m bail

Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, has been granted N50 million bail by the federal high court in Lagos.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned the ex-governor on an 11-count charge bordering on abuse of office.

Morenikeji Olatoregun, the presiding judge, granted him bail on Wednesday.

The charges against Fayose are stealing, receiving money from Musiliu Obanikoro, a former minister, criminal breach of trust, illegal acquisition of property in Abuja and Lagos and illegally acquiring property in the name of his sister in Abuja, among others.

His bail conditions include two sureties who have property in Lagos and three years tax clearance.

Until he meets the bail terms, the former governor will remain in EFCC custody.

He was also directed to submit his passport to the court’s registrar.

The case was adjourned to November 19.

A large crowd of Fayose’s supporters were present in the court premises during the hearing.

Fayose takes stomach infrastructure to EFCC, feeds over 150 detainees

The immediate past governor of Ekiti state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, in his took his stomach infrastructure antics to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC office in Lagos today when he provided food for over 150 people (detainees and visitors).

According to his media aide, Lere Olayinka, the highly elated detainees jointly sang the National Anthem after their stomachs were adequately serviced.

The former governor also secured lawyers for some of the detainees that are in genuine need of legal representation and promised to assist those having challenges in meeting their bail conditions.

The ex-governor who was arraigned at the federal high court in Ikoyi, Lagos is facing trial in connection with N1.299 billion and $5.3 million allegedly allocated to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) from N4.65 billion slush fund allegedly shared by ONSA.

But the ex-governor denied collecting $5.3 million from a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.

He was said to have only admitted knowing Obanikoro and his associate, Abiodun Agbele, who allegedly bought six choice properties for him in Lagos and Abuja.

Obanikoro, Alex Otti, 20 others to testify against Fayose in alleged N2.2bn fraud case

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has assembled 22 witnesses to testify against the immediate-past Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, in court.

The anti-graft agency is set to arraign the former governor before the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday for an alleged fraud of N2.2bn.

It alleged that Fayose took possession of the money “to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”

Among the witnesses lined up to testify against ex-governor is a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, and a former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, Alex Otti.

Also to testify is Ayotunde Owope, said to be Fayose’s account officer.

According to the EFCC, Owope opened a bank account for Fayose and “he will give evidence on how funds were transferred from one account into another.”

Obanikoro, who was listed as the second witness, is expected to testify about how he took N2.2bn from the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, for onward delivery to Fayose in June 2014.

Obanikoro is to narrate to the court how Fayose allegedly requested that out of the N2.2bn, N1.2bn should be delivered to him in cash while the remaining N800m should be converted to US dollars.

However, Obanikoro, who was listed as the second witness, has left the country for the U.S, with no definite return date.

Ex-Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Otti, is to tell the court how sometime in 2014, Obanikoro approached him in his office in Lagos, saying he expected the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay certain sums of money into the Diamond Bank account of a firm, Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd, and that he needed the money or most of it transferred to Ekiti.

JUST IN: Fayose arrives in court, pleads ‘Not Guilty’

The former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose was this morning brought to court by operatives if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the commencement of his trial.

The former governor is facing an 11 count charge of money laundering. He was alleged to have received and laundered N2.1 billion he received from former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki towards the 2015 elections.

Fayose who appears to have lost some weight wore a brightly coloured shirt with blue jeans trousers.

Below are pictures if his pictures in Federal High Court, Lagos this morning. He was beaming with smiles.

There was an unusual security around the court as EFCC officials almost cordoned off the court.

EFCC hands Fayose his flight ticket to Lagos

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has handed over the flight ticket of Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, to him, according to Nation.

Fayose, who is currently at the commission’s head office in Abuja, is expected to be arraigned at a federal high court in Lagos on Monday.

The commission has listed 11 charges, against the former governor who walked into the EFCC head office after handing over power on Tuesday.

An official of the anti-graft agency had confirmed  that the former governor was served with the charges on Friday evening.

The ex-governor is facing trial in connection with N1.299 billion and $5.3 million allegedly allocated to him by the office of the national security adviser (ONSA) from N4.65 billion slush fund allegedly shared by ONSA.

But the ex-governor denied collecting $5.3 million from Musiliu Obanikoro, a former minister of state for defence.

He was said to have only admitted knowing Obanikoro and his associate, Abiodun Agbele, who allegedly bought six choice properties for him in Lagos and Abuja.

He was also said to have confirmed during interrogation that Agbele bought the properties for him.

The EFCC released pictures of some of the houses on the third day of Fayose in detention.

EFCC to move Fayose to Lagos for trial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will move Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, to Lagos for trial this weekend, according to The Nation.

The newspaper said Fayose’s trial will most likely begin at a federal high court in Lagos.

TheCable had reported that Fayose was served with his charges in Abuja on Friday evening and that he would be charged to court next week.

Wilson Uwujaren, head of media and publicity of EFCC, later confirmed the filing of charges against Fayose.

“Fayose has been served with charges alongside his company, Spotless,” he said.

The ex-governor is facing trial in connection with N1.299 billion and $5.3 million allegedly allocated to him by the office of the national security adviser (ONSA) from N4.65 billion slush fund allegedly shared by ONSA.

But the ex-governor denied collecting $5.3 million from Musiliu Obanikoro, a former minister of state for defence.

He was said to have only admitted knowing Obanikoro and his associate, Abiodun Agbele, who allegedly bought six choice properties for him in Lagos and Abuja.

He was also said to have confirmed during interrogation that Agbele bought the properties for him.

But Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, said the former governor is waiting to be charged to court, whenever the EFCC is ready.

He claimed that the EFCC did not have evidence to prosecute the ex-governor.

“With the deafening noise that they made about the evidence of corruption in their possession and even going by the EFCC ignoble tweet of July 15, 2018, in which the commission expressed its readiness to prosecute the former governor immediately he no longer enjoyed immunity, Nigerians had expected that by now, he will be facing trial in court,” he had said in a statement.

“However, because the EFCC does not have any evidence against Fayose, the commission has opted to keep him in detention so as to satisfy its paymasters whose major agenda is ‘Fayose must be kept out of circulation by whatever means.

“If not that they are just interested in keeping him out of circulation, why is the anti-graft commission not in court to prosecute him with the ‘overwhelming evidence’ it claimed to have?”

EFCC grills Fayose, asks ex-gov to return N1.3bn

The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, finally honoured an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday after losing his immunity from prosecution and arrest.

After leading Fayose to the interrogation room, it was learnt that he was asked to write a statement explaining how he spent N1.3bn he allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser through a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, during the build-up to the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.

The commission also asked him to return the money.

A source at the EFCC, however, told our correspondent that the former governor refused to admit to collecting the money.

He said, “We have treated Fayose with respect since he arrived in our office. We asked him about the money he received from Obanikoro and when he would return it but he is denying everything.

“He said in his statement on oath that he never received any money despite the overwhelming evidence. The man is refusing to cooperate despite the overwhelming evidence we have.”

It was learnt that as of 7 pm on Tuesday, the former governor was still writing his statement.

The funds allegedly traced to Fayose were said to be part of the N4.7bn allegedly handed to Obanikoro by the then National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

While about N1.3bn was given to Fayose, another N1.3bn was also handed over to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State in 2014, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

The funds were said to have been transported from Lagos to Ekiti State by air.

Since the investigation began in 2015, the EFCC has interrogated over 20 persons.

Apart from Obanikoro and Omisore, others interrogated by the EFCC include Captain Ahmed Borodo, the pilot whose plane was allegedly chartered by Obanikoro; Aide-de-Camp to Obanikoro, Lt. Olumide Adewale; and Fayose’s aide, Abiodun Agbele (who is standing trial for allegedly receiving the funds on behalf of Fayose).

Others interrogated include bureau de change operators and senior bank executives.

“Despite the statements made by all these people indicating that Fayose received money, the man is still denying the allegations,” an EFCC detective said.

However, Fayose’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said Fayose would not compromise himself in the name of administrative bail.

Ozekhome said Fayose’s accounts had already been frozen by the commission and was already in court over the matter.

On whether Fayose would return the money as demanded by the EFCC, Ozekhome said, “Which money are they saying he should return? Has he said any money is with him? They won’t dare tell him to return the money.

“Fayose is not like other Nigerians that the EFCC will bamboozle and force and blackmail to make refunds. Why tell a man to refund the money he has not admitted to receiving when the matter is in court?

“If they offer him an administrative bail with no strings attached, which is not a Greek gift, then he should take it.”

Earlier in the day, before entering the EFCC premises, Fayose and scores of his supporters had created a scene at the entrance of the commission.

Fayose, who wore a blue shirt with the inscription, ‘EFCC, I am here’, and a blue pair of trousers with a blue face-cap to match, arrived at the Tunde Idiagbon House, Wuse 2, which is the former headquarters of the EFCC, around 1 pm.

The former governor, who clutched a backpack and a small duffel bag, was accompanied by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State;  a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and several of his aides and supporters.

Addressing reporters before making his way into the EFCC, Fayose said, “I am here in line with my promise that I will be here on the October 16.

“And, as I said to the EFCC, they should await my arrival. This morning, they have been to my house; they cordoned off my street, which I feel was unnecessary. It was unwarranted.

“When a man says he is coming, Nigerians should be given benefit of the doubt.

“I had led Ekiti, and the best I could give, I have given. Therefore, every question, whatever they need to ask today, I will be able to respond appropriately.”

Also speaking, Governor Wike said he accompanied Fayose in order to warn the EFCC to respect his rights.

Wike added, “He wrote a letter to the EFCC that he will submit himself on October 16. He is hale and hearty and I believe that EFCC should know he is well. Our fear from the present report that we have is that he may be harmed.

“But, let Nigerians know that he came by himself to the EFCC without anybody harassing him. So, that is why I brought him here today.”

I am Fayose’s lawyer, Fani-Kayode tells EFCC

A mild drama ensued outside the Tunde Idiagbon House, former head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission when operatives of the EFCC attempted to bar a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, from accompanying former Governor Ayodele Fayose into the premises.

Fani-Kayode, who obtained an LL.B from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a Masters degree from Cambridge University, noted that he was a lawyer and had practised in Nigeria.

After challenging the security officials with his credentials, he was allowed in.

While going in, Fani-Kayode joked with the EFCC operatives that he ought to be allowed unto the premises at any time having spent 90 non-consecutive days in the custody of the commission in 2016.

“I am a regular customer here. You should know me by now,” he joked.

Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who has been representing Fayose in court since his recent case with the EFCC began, also took three lawyers from his chambers into the EFCC before leaving.

JUST IN: Fayose storms EFCC office with his bag of clothes

The immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has arrived at the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.

Fayose had earlier notified the EFCC that he will make himself available immediately his tenure expires.

He was on Tuesday accompanied to the anti-graft agency’s office by Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, and Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation.

Wearing a black t-shirt with the inscription “EFCC, I’m here”, the ex-governor said: “I am here in line with my promise that I will be here on the 16th of October, and like I said to EFCC, they should await my arrival. This morning, they have been to my house which I think its unnecessary.”

Also speaking, Wike said “He wrote to the EFCC that he will submit himself on the 16th of October. So let Nigerians know that he came by himself to EFCC without anybody harassing him, so that’s why I brought him here.”

Fayose was seen with a bag filled with his clothes.