Witness reveals how Fayose received over N6bn from NSA for election

Ogunsakin Mustapha
9 Min Read
Mr Ayo Fayose, former Governor, Ekiti State

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday resumed the trial of former Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose on Friday with the testimony of one of its investigation officers Mr. Abubakar Madaki who told the court that Fayose received funds from the National Security Adviser(NSA) without performing any contract for the Federal Government.

Fayose and his firm Spotless Investment Limited are being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly laundering N6.9 billion.

Madaki, the 13th prosecution witness, was led in evidence before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke by prosecution counsel Mr Rotimi Jacobs. He testified that he was in the EFCC during the investigation of the case between 2014 and 2015 as the Head of Economic Governance. “I left EFCC in 2020”, adding that  sometime in mid 2015, the Commission received an anonymous report on procurement of fire arms by the then National Security Adviser (NSA).

He said the report contained the names of many companies and individuals who obtained money from the NSA’s office without rendering any service. He identified a firm, Silver Macnamara, as one of the companies that allegedly obtained over N4 billion

The companies and individuals, he added, were analysed and investigation was extended to banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), BDCS and the other persons that had a relationship with the case.

Madaki said: “Responses were received and Silver Macnamara had an account with Diamond Bank. The statement of account received from Silver Macnamara was analysed and various withdrawal and deposits was analysed. “We invited the owners of companies and individuals that were involved. When the investigation was ongoing, an information was received that part of the funds received by Silver Macnamara was withdrawn and taken via aircraft to Akure. Since no particular airport was mentioned. I led a team to the local airport in Abuja to lodge the complaint but they said that no plane flew. We continued to Lagos and discovered that Gyero Airline left for Akure on the 17th of June 2014.”

According to the witness, the office of the airline was traced and its officials confirmed that on that day, they moved some parcels for (former minister) Musiliu Obanikoro to Akure brought by Diamond Bank.

Madaki continued: “The officials of Diamond Bank were interviewed and they confirmed that the sum of over N1.2 billion was withdrawn from the bank and taken to the Airport in Lagos where it was handed over to Obanikoro. “We proceeded to Akure. The airport authority confirmed that Obanikoro arrived at Akure Airport on that day with the aforementioned airline with a bullion van brought by Zenith Bank.

“The authority also confirmed that Obanikoro was with two other people. We proceeded to Zenith bank where they confirmed that indeed that they had received over N1.bn cash from one Biodun Agbele and provided account of which the funds were distributed.

“Among the accounts provided included the personal account of the defendant (Fayose) Spotless Investment Limited belonging to defendant and his family, the Privateer Limited belonging to Abiodun Agbele and Steel health Limited. The balance of cash was taken to Ado- Ekiti which investigation revealed to be the house of the defendant, Ayodele Fayose. “These funds came from NSA impress account which is under the control of NSA”, the witness said.

According to the witness, the mandate obtained from CBN revealed that the funds “were meant for the purchase of physical infrastructure equipment.”

He testified that further investigation was carried out on the NSA’s office to find out if there was any supporting documents with the respect to payment of the funds.

“They replied that there was no other document other than an instruction to pay the funds,” he said.

The witness continued: “On the 4th of June 2014 Sliver Macnamara received the sum of N200m in its Diamond Bank account which was tagged payment for physical security infrastructure.

“We investigated to know if there were any of such contracts that the company had carried out for ONSA. There was nothing to show that any contact was executed for the payment.

“There was N2 billion that equally left NSA’s impress account, for security services. We investigated it to know who received the money and the security service he rendered.

“As at the time the investigation, nobody was arrested but as the investigation progressed, the information revealed that Senator Musiliu Obanikoro used his company as a disguise to receive the funds which corroborated the banks’ stand that the funds were handed to Obanikoro.

“It was also confirmed that the parcels Diamond Bank handed over to Obanikoro was cash. It was also confirmed at Akure Airport that the parcels Obanikoro landed with via Gyero Airline was cash.”

According to him, further confirmation revealed that no contract was performed by any of the beneficiaries of the funds received from ONSA including Silver Macnamara and the defendant.

Madaki said: “We invited Mr Abiodun Oshodi from Zenith Bank and he revealed that his regional manager from Ibadan, Lawrence Akande told him that Biodun Agbele would be bringing the funds in issue to the bank on behalf of Fayose.

“Akande was invited and he confirmed that the defendant Fayose contacted him that Agbele would bring money to him.

“Abiodun Agbele denied receiving nay money from Obanikoro. He claimed that himself, Chairman of Zenith Bank Jim Ovia and the Managing Director (MD) of the bank, Mr Peter Bankole had agreed that the bank would fund the election of Fayose.

“And that from the day they met, he had been receiving money into the account of Privateers Limited (his company).

“Agbele said that the funds given to him was from Zenith Bank.”

But Fayose’s counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN) objected to the testimony about what Agbele purportedly said.

Ojo contended that the witness could not testify on hear say or third party evidence.

But Justice Aneke overruled the objection and asked the witness to continue with his evidence.

The witness said: “Agbele stated that the funds given to him was from Zenith Bank.

“Officials of Zenith Bank were invited and interviewed but they all denied giving any money to Agbele of Privateers.

“As the investigation progressed, Senator Obanikoro surfaced and he confirmed that he just used the company to receive the funds, that the operator of the company was nowhere.

“Rather it was the agreement between the then NSA and Obanikoro that the funds would be passed to the defendant via Obanikoro.

“And even before the funds landed that the defendant had been calling him (Obanikoro) to know if the funds had arrived.

“He said in his statement that he inquired from the defendant where the money will be deposited.

“The defendant said that he should bring 1.2billiomn cash and the balance should be in dollars.

“That N1.2bn naira was carried to Akure and $4m and $1m in two tranches.

“These funds were not transferred in other to disguise which is a money laundering offence.”

Justice Aneke adjourned further hearing the 25th, 26th and 27th of October.

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