A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday heard that a former Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose allegedly invited a bank to move N200m cash from his residence.
A banker, Johnson Abidakun, told Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that the cash was moved in April 2016 with police escort from Fayose’s official residence in, Ado-Ekiti.
The money was lodged in a bank account.
The witness testified for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Fayose’s N2.2bn fraud trial.
He said at the time, he was the bank’s Head of Operations at Ekiti, adding that his duty was to oversee three units, namely: Funds Transfer; Cash and Teller; and Customer Service.
The banker, who was led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, said the transaction began with a call on April 16, 2016 from his Zonal Head, Dr Abiodun Oshode.
Abidakun said: “I received a call from my Zonal Head, Dr Abiodun Oshode, that there was an assignment to be carried out; that there was a sum of N200m to be moved from the residence of the then governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
“He said we had to go and move the cash urgently and I immediately called the cash officer to arrange for policemen. The policemen arrived after 30 minutes. We arranged for their payment, and called it police money. We also arranged for the cash driver and the cash movers.
“So, they set out for the assignment. After about one hour, they came back with the money and the money was counted and ascertained to be N199.5m as against N200m. While detailed counting of the money was going on, Mr Abiodun Agbele came in with one other man, Mr Taofeek.
“I know Mr Abiodun Agbele to be close to the governor but I don’t know his position; he gave instructions that the money should be credited into the account of Still Earth Nigeria Limited and that the depositor was Mr Taofeek.
“At the point of posting, I discovered that the deposit slip was filled by my subordinate, Oputu Okeimute. I asked him why he filled the deposit slip and he said the depositor could not read or write.
After that, the money was credited into the account of Still Earth.”
Under cross-examination by Fayose’s lawyer, Mr Ola Olanipekun (SAN), Abidakun affirmed that he did not personally go to Fayose’s house but delegated Adewale Aladegbola to lead the team.
He added: “Aladegbola was the only one that knew the destination. I didn’t tell him the amount of money but he led the team.
“When they came back, they didn’t tell me that they met the first defendant (Fayose).”
Further hearing continues tomorrow.
According to the charge Fayose and one, Abiodun Agbele, were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, on June 17, 2014, to fund his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, “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 $5 million (about N1.8 billion) from a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by
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.
The former governor was also alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million in his bank account 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 property 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 contravenes 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.