The trial of the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, continued today with the testimony of a Zenith Bank official, Dr Abiodun Oshode, who told the court how the bank took a bullion van to the Akure airport in 2014 to evacuate a cash sum of N1.219bn from an aircraft.
The witness told trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, that the request for the service was made by Abiodun Agbele, an aide to the former governor, Ayo Fayose.
The witness also testified that a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, was present during the operation at the airport.
Oshode said after taking the N1.219bn cash to the bank, Agbele supplied three bank accounts into which the monies were to be lodged.
He listed the three accounts as those of Privateer Nigeria Limited; Spotless Investment Limited and a personal account of the former governor.
The witness also listed “Ayodele Fayose and Mrs Olayemi Fayose” as the signatories to the account of Spotless Investment Limited.
Under cross-examination, the witness admitted that though there was nothing inappropriate about the transaction, the bank reported the N1.219bn cash lodgment to the authorities in line with the standard practice that banks must report cash transactions above N1m for an individual and N5m for a corporate body.
The banker also admitted that there was no time that the former governor filled any teller dealing with the money.
Subsequently, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, adjourned further proceedings till Wednesday, October 23.
The former governor was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and Fayose was then granted bail on October 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.
Thereafter, the EFCC opened its trial on November 19, 2018, and called 13 out of its listed witnesses.
According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, said to have formed part of proceeds of crime, for the purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti.
Fayose was also 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.
He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million “which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds”.
The former governor was also alleged to have “procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds”.
Beyond that, he was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion “to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds”.
He 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 he ought to know also forms crime proceeds”.
All the offences contravene 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.