Alleged N6.9bn Money Laundering: Court Grants Fayose Permission To Travel Abroad
The former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has been re-arraigned and granted permission to travel abroad.
Fayose was re-arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos.
The re-arraignment follows the re-assignment of the case to Justice Aneke after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) expressed loss of confidence in Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who was previously handling it.
Fayose was first arraigned last October 22 on an 11-count charge of receiving and keeping N1.2billion and $5million stolen funds from the office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) contrary to the Money Laundering Act.
He was arraigned alongside a company, Spotless Investment Limited.
At the proceedings on Tuesday, the charges were read again to Mr Fayose and he pleaded not guilty.
His counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN) then applied that he should be allowed to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted by Justice Olatoregun.
The EFCC counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi raised no objections and Justice Aneke subsequently admitted the former governor to bail on the terms and conditions earlier granted by Justice Olatoregun.
Recall that the court had granted Fayose bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.
The judge had also ordered that the former governor must deposit his passport with the court and must not travel out without the court’s permission.
At proceedings today, Justice Aneke ordered the release of Fayose’s Passport to enable him travel to South Africa for medical treatment.
The judge gave this order after considering an application filed by the former governor to that effect.
Justice Aneke directed that Fayose must return the Passport to the court’s deputy registrar on or before September 16.
He then fixed September 16 to 19 for trial.
The former governor is facing trial in connection with the sums of 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 the ONSA.
Already the EFCC has lined up 22 witnesses, in proof of its case against Fayose and his company, Spotless Limited, which is the second defendant, in the case.
The witnesses include: Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Alex Otti, Ayotunde Owope, Salisu Shuaibu, Jamilu Uba, Imisi Ilesanmi John, Adekunle Adetimehin, Joseph Mechleb, Joseph Ghossen, Mechleb Maroun and Patrick Nimidam.
Others are: Adeyemi Oyindamola, Galatians Olugboyega, Taiwo Olumide Ogundemi, Olukayode Shokunbi.
Also lined up to testify are a Representative of Diamond Bank Plc and a Representative of Zenith Bank, as well as three operatives of the EFCC, Abubakar Madaki, Alexander Precious, Usman Alli, Jackson Edet and Nura Buhari.