How Fayose serially took bribes from Ekiti contractors –EFCC

Ayodele-Fayose-newThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) has released the full detail of its fraud case against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

The details, contained in an affidavit filed by the anti-graft commission, show how N1.21 billion out of N2.26 billion paid to the account of Slyvan Mcnamara Limited, a company linked to the sons of the immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, by the Office of the National Security Adviser during the last administration, was traced to Mr. Fayose’s accounts in Zenith Bank.

The affidavit, which detailed how the governor received kickbacks from Ekiti contractors, was filed in response to a suit instituted by the governor at a Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti, seeking an order directing the EFCC to unblock his accounts with Zenith Bank.

The EFCC had frozen the governor’s account after it claimed the N1.21 billion was paid into the governor’s account for the prosecution of his election in 2014.

Tosin Owobo, an operative of the EFCC, who deposed the written affidavit, told the court that Babajide, one of the sons of the former defence minister was the principal signatory of Sylvan Mcnamara. He explained that former Minister Obanikoro conveyed the money himself to Akure, Ondo State, to Mr. Fayose.
He said prior to Mr. Obanikoro’s arrival in Akure, Alade Oluseye, a staff of Zenith Bank, had informed his colleague, Lawrence Akande, that the money was being brought through the Akure Airport for lodgement and since the volume of the cash was huge, he would be needing a bullion van to convey the money.

He said on June 17, 2014, Mr. Oluseye, accompanied by Biodun Agbele, who he said was fronting for Mr. Fayose, arrived the Akure airport and took delivery of N724,500,000.00 from Mr. Obanikoro who was with his ADC, Lieutenant Colonel A.O Adewale.

The EFCC official also claimed that the next day, N494, 990,000.00 was delivered by Mr. Obanikoro in the same manner at the airport. He said in all, Mr Obanikoro, a former senator, conveyed N1, 219,490,000.00 through a chartered aircraft belonging to GYRO AIR Limited with registration number: HS125-800 5N-BMT.

According to Mr. Owobo, after Alade Oluseye, an employee of Zenith Bank took delivery of the money from Mr Obanikoro, on June 19, 2014, Biodun Agbele, whom he claimed was a front for Mr. Fayose, was instructed by the governor to deposit N219million in cash to De-privateer Limited’s Zenith Bank account number: 1013835889.

“On the same day the said Biodun Agbele made another cash deposit in the sum of N300million being part of the proceeds of crimes to the said De- privateer Ltd’s with the 2nd Respondent,” Mr Owobo told the court.

“On the 23rd June, 2014 the sum of N200, 000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) being part of these proceeds of crime, was also deposited to the said De-Privateer Ltd’s account domiciled with the Respondent by Biodun Agbele whilst acting in concert with the Applicant.

“On the 26th day of June,2014 the said Biodun Agbele on the instruction of Applicant further dissipated the proceeds of crime by depositing the sum of N137,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Thirty Seven Million Naira) to account No. 1003126654 domiciled with the 2nd Respondent in the name of the Applicant.

“On the 22nd and 27th day of August, 2014 Biodun Agbele also deposited the sum of N50, 000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) and N118, 760,000.00 (One Hundred and Eighteen Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira) respectively to the said account which sum formed part of the proceeds of crime.

“In further dissipating the proceeds of crime deposited and retained in the account referred to in paragraphs (d) and (g) above, the sum of N300,000,000.00 (Three Hundred Million Naira) was put in a fixed deposit account No. 9013074033 in the name of the Applicant on the 7th day of April,2015.”

Mr. Owodo told the court that on June 17, 2014, Mr. Agbele deposited N100 million to the account of Spotless Investment Limited, owned by Mr Fayose, with Zenith Bank (number: 1010170969). On June 23, 2014, he also deposited N49 million to the account of Spotless Investment.

He said there was a balance of N89, 454,765.00 in the account before it was frozen.

Mr. Owobo revealed that during interrogation, Messrs. Oluseye and Akande made confessional statements about how the transactions were done.

Kickback and bribes

The EFCC also told the court that apart from the money he allegedly received from Mr. Obanikoro, Mr. Fayose was in the habit of collecting gratification and kickback from Ekiti State contractors, including Samchese Nigeria Ltd, Tender Branch Concept Nig. Ltd, Hoff Concept Ltd, and Calibre Consulting Ltd.
The respondent explained that Mr. Fayose received the kickback through Still Earth Ltd and Signachorr Nigeria Ltd and in turn instructed the companies to acquire properties for him.

For instance, Mr. Owobo said the companies bought properties using the name of J.J Technical Services Limited, a company owned by Mr. Fayose and his wife.

He added that in another instance, Mr. Fayose used the name of his sister, Moji Ladeji, to buy a property located at No.44, Osun Crescent Maitama Abuja.

Interim Order

Contrary to the claim by Mr. Fayose that the EFCC arbitrarily blocked his account without a valid court order, Mr. Owobo told the court that the commission got an interim order from Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos to “prevent further dissipation of proceed of crimes”.

“The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the exercise of his statutory mandate contained in section 34 of the EFCC Act having satisfied himself that the various sums of money in the account No. 1003126654, 9013074033, 1010170969 and 1013835888 domiciled with the 2nd Respondent were made through the commission of the an economic and financial crimes to wit: stealing and receiving gratification approached the Federal High Court Lagos Judicial Division, for an order directing the Manager of the 2nd Respondent to freeze the said accounts.

“In his wisdom, Hon. Justice M.B Idris granted the 1st Respondent’s application wherein an order of interim attachment was made on the aforementioned accounts. Attached and marked exhibit EFCC 09 is a certified true copy of the said order.

“The said order was a preservative order to prevent further dissipation of proceeds of crimes.”

Having obtained an interim order from a court of law, Mr. Owobi therefore argued that Mr. Fayose could not use the court as a shield against criminal investigation.

He further argued that while the governor’s immunity against civil and criminal proceeding, the proceeds of an economic and financial crimes allegedly committed by him do not enjoy such privilege.

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