Alleged Money Laundering: Bank Official Testifies In Fayose’s Case

 

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.

FUOYE Killings: Fayemi Directs Commissioner of Police To Commence Investigation

 

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has spoken on the killing of two students of Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti, allegedly by police officers.

He condemned the shooting and directed the Commissioner of Police to commence an investigation.

The governor disclosed this in a statement published on the Ekiti State Government’s Twitter handle on Sunday.

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“I have in the last few days agonised over the incident that took place at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

“Until the multiple investigations are completed, I am necessarily constrained from talking about the details of what transpired. I, however, do not need to be constrained about the emotions a tragedy like this evokes.

“I have directed the State Commissioner of Police to urgently commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate shooting incident with a view to identifying possible culprits within and outside the Force. Taken together with the ongoing investigation by the University management, we will consider the need for an independent panel of inquiry, if necessary once these fact-finding investigations are concluded,” the statement read in part.

The governor suggested that police authorities should explore the use of non-lethal rubber bullets in managing public protests.

He promised that Nigerian Governors Forum will take this up at the highest levels in government.

“Any death is a tragedy. Any shooting arising from legitimate protests diminishes our fledgling democratic dispensation and calls to question our commitment to fundamental human rights.

“Having heard from all parties to the incident, it is pertinent that I now personally convey my deeply felt sorrow for the loss of two promising young lives and for those who suffered injuries,” he added.

Fayemi also highlighted steps taken so far, pledging support for the family of the slained students and pay the medical bills of the injured students.

“We have taken a number of steps; a high-level government delegation has visited the families of the deceased. This will not be a one-off intervention. We will stand firmly with, and support the families at this time. Those persons with varying degrees of injuries will also be given support whilst their hospital expenses will be defrayed by the government.”

He added that he notes the initial public statement by the University authorities and its Students Union body.

“We welcome the conclusion that neither the wife of the Governor nor any Government official directed the shootings. Indeed it is obvious that the wife of the Governor and those on her entourage are victims of this unfortunate incident.

“The issue that led to the protest has been the subject of intense disagreement and negotiations with BEDC since I became Governor. Last week, my Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities was still in Benin to see BEDC management on the matter of inadequate and inconsistent supply of electricity in Ekiti State. Though Governors do not have any control over privatised power distribution companies, the four Governors from the states covered by the Benin DISCO have consistently expressed dissatisfaction with the services of BEDC and taken the matter up with the Vice President who chairs the Privatisation Council.

“In addition to this, I have been talking to the Rural Electrification Agency about including FUOYE in the next round of their University Electrification Project.”

The governor, therefore, appeals for calm and caution, adding that he is awaiting the reports of the various investigations.

Fayemi Bans Use Of English At Traditional Events

 

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has banned the use of the English Language as a means of communication during any traditional event in the state.

The governor gave the directive on Monday in Ado-Ekiti during the First Ekiti State Arts and Culture Stakeholders’ Forum.

He said it has now become an offence for anyone to communicate in the English Language during traditional events anywhere in the state.

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Fayemi, who was represented at the event by the Head of Service Mr Deji Ajayi insisted that culture must be promoted and preserved, and speaking in Yoruba language and Ekiti dialects at traditional fora will be a necessary step in that direction.

“From today, henceforth, the government has banned the speaking of English in any cultural programme. Whoever that will participate in any traditional programme must speak Yoruba or our dialect.

In the primary school teachers’ recruitment exercise we advertised recently, we wanted to employ 1,100 teachers and over 19,000 had applied on our website. This shows that the government must develop the skills and capacities of our youths to be able to be on their own.

“We are going to organise Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture in December this year to enhance our capacities in crafts, dancing, weaving and other vocational areas of arts.

“We should not forget to teach our children those values that will make Ekiti to remember their heritage and sustain our culture as a people.”

Fayemi said that the government would build a new traditional rulers’ Secretariat for monarchs in the state to make them more active and functional.

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Adjourns Fayose’s Trial To July 2

Fayose Released From EFCC Custody

 

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose was on Friday re-arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

He is being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 11 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, theft and money laundering of N2.2bn against his firm, Spotless Limited.

At Friday’s proceedings, Fayose’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), informed the court of an application seeking that the matter be returned to the former trial judge, Justice Olatoregun.

Meanwhile, the counsel for the second defendant, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), in his statement said the transfer of the case to another judge by the Chief Judge was a “rape on the rule of law”, adding that the defendants have been foisted with the situation of total helplessness.

The counsel for the EFCC informed the court that the arraignment of the ex-governor could not go on as he was being investigated in other matters.

Thereafter, Justice Aneke upheld the prayer of the EFCC and adjourned the case till July 2.

Fayemi Elected As Chairman Of Nigeria Governors Forum

 

The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has been elected as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum.

Fayemi was chosen by a consensus after he was nominated by Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, with Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa seconding his nomination.

The Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal will act as Fayemi’s deputy in the governor’s forum.

The announcement was made on Tuesday night by the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari who is also the outgoing chairman of the NGF.

While thanking the governors for the trust vested on him, Fayemi promised to work for the overall interest of Nigerians.

 

Court Sets Aside Garnishee Order On Ekiti State Bank Accounts

The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has set aside the Order Nisi which it granted in March 2019 to garnishee some bank accounts of the Ekiti State Government Funds.

The Court had granted the Order at the instance of some local government chairmen and councilors who were illegally sacked by the state Government in 2010.

The sacked local government officials through their counsel, Chino Obiagwu, SAN, obtained the Order Nisi while seeking to be paid the remainder of their emolument for the term in office, a period of 15months.

In his judgment on Monday, Justice Nicholas Oweibo discharged the Order Nisi following an application filed and argued by the Ekiti State Attorney General, Olawale Fapohunda on the 4th of May.

The Attorney General had argued that the Order Nisi was obtained upon a false representation on the part of the local government chairman and it has created a situation which is strangling the economy of the state.

In 2013, the Supreme Court delivered judgment in favour of the 16 local govt chairmen summarily dismissed and one of the orders it made was that they should be paid their outstanding emolument.

To compel the state government to pay, the 16 local government chairmen filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The court subsequently granted an Order Nisi garnishing the state funds in the Central Bank of Nigeria and 17 other commercial banks.

With today’s judgment, the Order Nisi has been set aside.

Osinbajo Launches Homegrown Feeding Programme In Ekiti

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday launched the Homegrown Feeding Programme in Ekiti State.

After launching the programme, the Vice President alongside the state Governor Kayode Fayemi ate lunch with pupils of St. Michael’s African Primary School, Ado-Ekiti.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Ekiti State is the 31st state where the programme is launched.

He also shared on his official twitter handle @akandeoj a video of the Vice-President eating lunch with the school pupils.

Fayemi in his speech described the Homegrown Feeding initiative as a lovable social investment which has always been one of the hallmarks of his administration’s agenda.

He added that the programme has great multiplier effects intellectually and economically as two thousand people are already engaged to meet the feeding requirements.

FUOYE Students Protest Over Deplorable State Of Facilities, Extortion

 

Students protest today crippled activities on the campuses of the Federal University, Oye (FUOYE) in Ekiti State.

The protest which affected the Oye and Ikole campuses of the university saw students in their droves demonstrating with solidarity songs in protest against the deplorable state of facilities in the institution.

They also alleged undue extortion of money by the management among other grounds for their action.

The students barricaded the main entrance to the campuses, preventing workers and management from gaining entrance.

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The protesters lamented that the University lacked necessary facilities such as power, laboratories, good roads, toilets, and internet which they pay for every semester adding that authorities have not done the needful despite repeated appeals.

They said the protest was to attract the attention of appropriate authorities towards addressing the situation.

The Public Relations Officer of the University, Godfrey Badji who spoke with Channels Television on phone claimed the students who defaulted in their financial obligations to the institution are the ones fueling the protest and demonstrations.

He said the action of the students was a reaction to a circular sent by management asking students to pay up outstanding fees, as the portal will close on Tuesday to pave the way for adequate preparations for the forthcoming examinations in the University.

The University spokesperson acknowledged the right of students to peaceful protests adding that management will ensure all necessary issues are adequately addressed.

‘We Will Name, Shame Delegates Of Sexual Offenders’, Fayemi’s Wife Warns

 

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Bisi Fayemi has warned sexual offenders and their delegates that the state will name and shame those found culpable in cases of rape and sexual offences.

The governor’s wife stated this on Monday at a forum in Ado the Ekiti State capital linked to the 2019 International Women’s Day.

She reiterated the announcement made by the State Attorney General, Olawale Fapounda, that the state government will now paste photographs of convicted sex offenders in public places within their communities and show their faces in the media among other measures to tackle all forms of abuses against women and girls.

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“From the declaration of the Attorney General last week, it affirms that Ekiti state has zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women and girls. We frown at violence against men too. So any woman abusing her husband will also face the wrath of the law. ”

The Governor’s wife read the riot act to those who beg after molesting women as a way of avoiding litigation.

“At times people form delegations of clergymen, traditional heads and so on, begging the victim’s families to let the case die. If anybody is found in such “rape and beg delegation”, they’ll pay very seriously for it and the offenders will be named and shamed “Mrs Fayemi warned.

She joined Ekiti women to celebrate an event marking the 2019 International Women’s Day, calling on them to build and equip themselves to fit into greater heights.

Fayemi, Fayose Embrace After Years Of Disagreements

 

After years of trading accusations Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and the immediate past governor, Ayodele Fayose put their differences aside on Wednesday.

Both politicians were seen happily embracing each other at the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership which took place at Habour Point, Victoria Island Lagos.

They embraced after Fayemi delivered a speech in honour of the celebrant of the day and awardee, Chief Afe Babalola, who is the third recipient after nobel laureate professor Wole Soyinka and former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.

“There must be something about Ekiti that fully prepared Chief Babalola for this award. We are known as the fountain of knowledge in Ekiti,” he said while recognising the presence of the previous governor, Fayose.

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Prior to the event, both men have had bitter exchanges over who performed better as governor and who deserved to rule the state.

In an interview with Channels Television following his victory on July 15, 2018, Fayemi said he had unfinished business in the state which is why the people returned him to power.

According to him, “The clock of progress and development in Ekiti stopped in October 2014 (after his first term)”.

“(My) coming back is to restart the clock and get it back to the developmental trajectory. What we have witnessed in Ekiti in the last four years is arrested development,” he added.

Fayose, on the other hand, insisted that his party was cheated in the election.

He also claimed that the peoples mandate had been stolen, hence, “there was no jubilation in the state” after Fayemi was declared the winner.

Speaking further, he described the victory of the APC as pyrrhic, insisting that his party would not be silenced but would work tirelessly until they get the justice they deserved.

“We will reclaim the stolen mandate in the court by the power of God,” Fayose vowed. “As for me, I am Peter Ayodele Fayose, I hold with my head high.”

“I can never be suppressed. I don’t lose battles and I will not lose this. By the power of God, I will laugh last,” he said.

Robbers Kill Policeman In Ekiti

 

A police officer has been shot dead in Ado, the Ekiti State capital while chasing some armed robbers.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed this to Channels Television on Thursday.

According to Ikechukwu, the armed men were said to have robbed a business outfit and while attempting to escape they were sighted and chased by the officer, who was driving in a white Hilux van.

The criminals, on the other hand, kept shooting at the vehicle and in the process, shot and killed the policeman after which they escaped.

Other officers later visited the scene to evacuate the corpse which was, thereafter, taken to the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH).

We Have Done Quite Well In Security, Buhari says in Ekiti

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has done well in securing the lives and property of Nigerians, especially people living in the Northeastern part of the country.

He stated this on Tuesday during the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State.

“I assure you that we are very conscious of the promises made when we were coming into office in 2015. We have done quite well in security. The people of the Northeast are the best changers because of what they were in and what we did when we came to secure that region.

President Muhammadu Buhari addressing APC supporters during the party’s presidential campaign in Ekiti on January 5, 2019.

“About the economy, we are doing very well in agriculture. We have stopped the importation of rice and the money we saved, we are putting it in infrastructure. We are doing the roads, we are doing the rails and we are trying to develop power,” he stated.

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Speaking also, APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, faulted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, over promises made to create jobs for Nigerians.

Tinubu recalled that while Abubakar was Vice President of the country with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the helm of affairs, he couldn’t do much in job creation.

“They have come from all the corners again to lie to you. Atiku said PDP will create two million jobs in a year and nobody has asked him how? When you were there with Obasanjo, how many jobs did you create?” he asked.

Also, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, criticised the PDP candidate on his plans to privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“Somebody says to us that he is going to create jobs. While he says he is going to create jobs, he also went on to say he is going to sell off 80 per cent of the size of Nigeria’s foreign revenue from the oil sector.

“Atiku Abubakar has warned us that should we mistakenly elect him, he will put Nigeria for sale. When I said 80 per cent of your assets, what will now remain?” he questioned.