It Took 10 Days To Count N1.2bn On Behalf Of Fayose – Witness

 

The trial of the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose on charges of fraud and money laundering continued today at the Federal High Court, Lagos with the testimony of a second prosecution witness, a former Executive staff of Zenith Bank Plc, Sunday Oluseye Alade.

The witness told Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that it took the bank 10 days to count the sum of N1.2 billion which was moved to the bank’s branch in Akure on behalf of a former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose.

The witness who was the Head of the Akure Branch of Zenith bank narrated how in 2014, he arranged for a bullion van to pick up the cash warehoused in an Aircraft at the Akure Airport.

His testimony corroborated Tuesday’s statement of another top official of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr Abiodun Oshode, who said the bank took a bullion van to the Akure Airport in Ondo State to evacuate the cash from an aircraft.

READ ALSO: Court Rules That Evans Was Not Forced To Confess

The money was allegedly brought in to the state for the purpose of funding the governorship ambition of Mr Fayose.

After the evacuation it was allegedly deposited in three bank accounts, including Mr Fayose’s personal account

“On 17th June, 2014, I received a phone call from Lawrence Akande through Abiodun Oshode, who was my Zonal Head that a customer of the bank will be coming to make cash deposit in Akure. I was told that the customer would be coming by a flight to Akure Airport.

“After some hours, Abiodun Oshode came to my office to inform me that the said customer was in his office. I then followed him to his office where he introduced one, Biodun Agbele, to me as the bank customer. I was later instructed to prepare the cash movement team (bullion van and security) to pick the cash from the Airport”, he said.

Speaking further, the witness said: “When the aircraft arrived, three individuals disembarked from it, two of them walked away while the third person walked to Abiodun Agbele. After a short interaction, we were left to offload the cash from the aircraft.

“One, Adewale O., who introduced himself as the orderly to Senator Obanikoro led us to offload the cash. When we got to the branch, we bundle-counted the cash and it was about N744 million.

“We were told there was a balance and we went back to the airport to pick the second batch from the aircraft into our bullion van. The second tranch was about N494 million, making a total of N1.2 billion. The money was detail-counted by the Cash and Teller unit for ten days before it was credited into three different accounts”.

A third Prosecution witness, a Senior Manager at the Abuja branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aliu Mohammed, also testified as to how a sum of N2.2 billion was transferred into the Diamond bank account of a firm, Sylva Mcmanara, from the operational account of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, at CBN.

Mohammed, who is the Head of Payment Section at the apex Bank disclosed that payments mandate was first received from the NSA’s office on 4th June, 2014 to pay N200 million to Sylva Mcmanara for the purpose of physical security infrastructure.

He said another mandate was also received on 16th June, 2014, for the payment of N2 billion into the firm’s account for security services.

Under cross-examination by Fayose’s lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), the witness said his office did not come across the former governor’s name in any of the documents used to process the payments into Sylva Mcnamara account.

A former staff of Diamond bank, Olaitan Fajuyitan, testified as the 4th prosecution witness. He corroborated the CBN’s staff claims of funds transfer into Sylva Mcnamara’s account.

He also narrated how the bank was instructed by Sylva Mcnamara to pay the sum of N1.2 billion to six individuals on the same day N2 billion was transferred to the account by CBN.

“The payment instruction was signed by the authorizing signatory of Sylva Mcnamara’s account. The beneficiaries were six in total. The authorizing signatory directed us to waive their means of identification”, he said.

According to the witness, the six beneficiaries are: Sam Turaki Bello, who collected N200 million; Yusuf Bulama, who collected N120 million; Chimenum Njoku, who collected N250 million; Josiah Moses, who collected N280 million; Abubakar Sadiq Zara, who collected N200 million and Franklin Tolani, who got N150 million.

The trial is to continue on Friday, the 25th of Oct.

Saraki, Fayose Celebrate World Teachers’ Day

 

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose have joined Nigerians to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day.

They both took to their Twitter page to show their appreciation to teachers.

Saraki said, “Today is #WorldTeachersDay and my thoughts go to all teachers, at every level, who I refer to as great builders and real mentors. After our creator and parents, the teachers are the next most important influence in life. They mould great leaders and guide the top professionals.

READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila Calls For Improved Welfare Package For All Teachers

“I remember a particular one among my many teachers, our French teacher in Kings College. She was more than somebody just out to impart knowledge. She truly cared about us and was so passionate about our success in life.

While Mr. Fayose said, “Today, I celebrate all my teachers and other teachers, serving retired or dead. May God bless them all.

“I congratulate teachers in Nigeria, particularly in Ekiti as they celebrate World Teachers’ Day 2019.I appreciate the young teachers, who are future of the profession & pray that they’II will be rewarded for educating our next generation of leaders in their lifetime. Happy Teachers’ Day”

‘An Assault On Igbos And Nigerians’, Fayose Condemns Ekweremadu’s Attack

Ayodele Fayose

 

The former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has condemned the attack on former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at an event in Germany. 

Mr Fayose described the incident as an assault against the Igbos and Nigerians in general.

He said the “Attackers of Ekweremadu, a defender of democracy who symbolises courage & decency, are miscreants who don’t deserve a place in a civilised society”.

READ ALSO: Attack On Ekweremadu ‘An Embarrassment To The Country’, Says Dabiri-Erewa

The former governor took to his Twitter handle to express his dissatisfaction over the incident which occurred on Saturday.

He added, “It is an assault against the Igbos and Nigerians in general.

“To me, those “Igbo touts” demonstrated that pigs have no value for gold”.

Mr Ekweremadu who is also a serving Senator was attacked at the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival at which he was a speaker/special guest of honour in Nuremberg.

A video of the incident uploaded by IPOB on its Facebook page and by some other persons at the scene have gone viral.

EFCC Vs Fayose: Court Adjourns Trial Of Ex-Governor To May

 

 

The trial of the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose continued at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today with the testimony of the 11th prosecution witness, Mr. Sunday Alade.

Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the witness who said he was the Branch Manager of Zenith Bank Plc Akure in 2014 told the court how the sum of N1.2billion was allegedly moved to his branch.

“On the 17th of June 2014, I was in my office in Zenith Bank, Akure. I received a call from my head of operations Abiodun Oshodi that a customer would be coming to make deposit into his account with the bank.

“He said in order to provide security, we should arrange for a bullion van to go to the airport to pick the cash.

“After an hour, Mr Abiodun Oshodi came and said the customer had arrived. He introduced Abiodun Agbele as the customer.

“He said we should prepare to go to the airport. I asked for time to arrange for security, but they said that won’t be necessary as they had sufficient security. They came with MOPOL and some soldiers in a Hilux,” Alade said.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Property Linked To Diezani

The witness said he joined Oshodi and Agbele to the airport, along with the bullion van and the security men.

Alade said: “At the airport, we waited for a few minutes before the arrival of the aircraft. Three individuals came out of the aircraft.

“Two of them walked away. The remaining person introduced himself as O. Adewale. The cash was offloaded into the bullion van and we drove to Zenith Bank Akure,” Alade said.

He said when they arrived at the bank, the money was counted in his presence. He said Oshodi, Adewale and Agbele were also present.

“The money was counted. It was N724million. We were informed that there was a balance. We went back to the airport and picked N494million the second time.

“The total cash amounted to N1.219billion. Another aircraft brought the N494million. I gathered that the cash was lodged into three bank accounts – those of De-Privateer, Spotless Investment and Ayodele Fayose.

“I also understand some cash was taken away that day by Mr Agbele.”

Asked who Adewale was, he said: “Adewale O. introduced himself as Obanikoro’s ADC.”

Asked if he knew those who walked away from the aircraft when it landed, the witness said: “One of the resembled Obanikoro. I never met him in person. But he resembled the person I saw on television and newspapers.”

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the witness said he was not aware of where the money came from.

The court has adjourned till May 10 & 14, when another witness is expected to testify for the prosecution.

Rivers Stood By Wike And PDP Even In The Face Of Death – Fayose

Governor Ayodele Fayose

 

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has hailed the Rivers people for standing by Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP during the course of the elections in the state. 

Reacting to Wike’s re-election, Fayose described the governor’s victory as sweet and historic.

In a series of tweets made on Wednesday, Fayose argued that to have the people of Rivers State stand by Governor Wike and the PDP even in the face of death is a sign that Nigerians are capable of defeating tyranny.

Fayose noted that the victory is just the beginning of more victories over the forces threatening the survival of democracy in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: ‘We Dedicate This Victory To God And Those Who Died Defending Their Votes – Wike

In a similar vein, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has said that Wike’s victory is a testament to how well he is connected to his people.

The lawmaker representing Bayelsa East made this statement via his official twitter handle.

“Congratulations to the slayer of dictators and their puppets. They came hard against you, but you made them fall harder than they came with people power. Your margin of victory shows how connected you are to the people, making you a man of the people, for the people. Proud of you,” Ben Bruce stated via Twitter.

You Are A Man Of The People, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce Salutes Wike

 

Senator Ben Murray Bruce has said that Wike’s victory is a testament to how well he is connected to his people.

The lawmaker representing Bayelsa East made this statement via his official twitter handle.

“Congratulations to the slayer of dictators and their puppets. They came hard against you, but you made them fall harder than they came with people power. Your margin of victory shows how connected you are to the people, making you a man of the people, for the people. Proud of you,” Ben Bruce stated via Twitter.

In a similar vein,  Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has described Wike’s victory as sweet and historic.

He said that the people of Rivers State stood by Governor Wike and the PDP even in the face of death is a sign that Nigerians are capable of defeating tyranny.

Fayose in a series of Tweets on Wednesday, noted that the victory is just the beginning of more victories over the forces threatening the survival of democracy in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Glad To See You Overcome Anti-Democratic Forces Of Dictatorship – Atiku Hails Wike

Osun: Atiku, Wike, Others Congratulate Adeleke On His Victory At Tribunal

 

Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has congratulated Senator Ademola Adeleke, following a tribunal’s upturning of the governorship election results in Osun State.

Felicitating with Adeleke, Atiku took to his twitter page, describing the victory as affirmation that the Judiciary is truly the last hope

Atiku said, “Truly, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man and the defender of our democracy. Congratulations Sen. Ademola Adeleke, @IsiakaAdeleke1″.

In a similar vein, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State also shared a felicitation comment on Twitter.

Wike said the tribunal’s verdict was a recovery of a stolen mandate. He opined that the same fate will be accorded the presidential candidate of the PDP in the last presidential election, Mr Atiku Abubakar.

READ ALSO: Governor Oyetola Heads To Appeal Court Following Defeat At Osun Tribunal

There have been several other comments from politicians, influential Nigerians and other members of the general public.

Below are some other takes on the Osun tribunal’s verdict, the views were drawn from twitter.

Alleged $5m Money Laundering: Court Admits Statements Of Late Aide To Obanikoro

 

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has admitted in evidence a statement made by the late Justin Erukaa, a Personal Assistant to the former Minister of State for Defence Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun admitted the statement in the trial of the former Governor of Ekiti state, Mr Ayodele Fayose.

Mr Fayose is on trial for allegedly receiving and keeping N1.2billion and $5million allegedly stolen from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

He had pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on an 11-count charge last October 22.

Sen. Obanikoro is testifying as the fifth prosecution witness in the trial.

At the last adjourned date of Feb 7th, Obanikoro was absent in court but despite his absence, the court listened to arguments on whether a statement made by Justin Erukaa, the late Personal Assistant to the former Minister of State for Defence Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, could be tendered & admitted as evidence especially as he was not a party to the case.

READ ALSO: 2019 Elections: Court Nullifies Omo-Agege, Others’ Candidacy

A defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN) had argued that the statement was relevant to the case because Erukaa made the statement in the course of the investigation.

Obanikoro had said in his testimony that he sent Erukaa on errands, including to collect over $1million and that he came to meet him in Ekiti.
“In law, a statement made to the EFCC in the course of the investigation is admissible in evidence without the maker being called as a witness or being a party to proceedings.
“It is not the law that a document which is not tendered through the maker is not admissible,” the SAN said, relying on sections 39 and 83 of the Evidence Act.

But, the EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs opposed the move to tender the statement, arguing that it was not admissible in law. He said the sections relied on by Ojo were not applicable in the circumstances.

“He wants to smuggle the statement in,” Jacobs said. According to Jacobs, certain conditions must be met before a statement made by a dead person could be tendered, including that the person must have appeared in the proceedings.

At a ruling delivered today, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun overruled the EFCC Prosecutor and held that Sections 39 and 49 of the Evidence Act make such a document admissible.
She said the issue was what weight the court would attach to the statement, and this the court would determine at a later date.

After admitting the statement, the case continued with the cross-examination of Obanikoro.

Obanikoro told the court that he supervised the account of the company, Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd’s which housed the money in issue which was received from the office of the National Security Adviser.

The money which he says came in 3 transactions were for the security of Lagos, the elections in Ekiti and the elections in Osun state.

When asked if elections matters were security matters, Obanikoro said, “matters of election can be matters of security”.

The trial was adjourned to continue on Tuesday, March 19.

‘Nigerians Will Defeat This Tyranny Ultimately’, Fayose Reacts As INEC Postpones Elections

Ekiti State Governor, Peter Faose

 

The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has said that the Nigerian people will eventually come out victorious in the 2019 elections regardless of some plots to deprive them of their mandate. 

Fayose made this statement via Twitter in reaction to the postponement of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The ex-governor said the postponement vindicates his earlier claim in which he told Nigerians that the leadership of the APC were holding a crucial meeting and were considering postponement of Saturday’s elections.

In his tweet on Wednesday, February 13, the governor had said that the APC will move to postpone the elections till 2nd week in March.

He said the leadership of the ruling party will use the burning of INEC offices in Anambra, Abia & Plateau States as well as insecurity in some States as reasons to move the elections to a later date.

READ ALSO: Postponement Of Elections: Atiku Accuses Buhari Of Planning To Disenfranchise Nigerians

Fayose claimed that the postponement was because a cabal in the presidency knew President Muhammadu Buhari will lose the election.

In his tweet, Fayose, however, warned that the cabal has succeeded in making their matter worse.

He tweeted: “Two days ago, I told Nigerians that the Presidency cabal was considering postponement of the elections because they knew that they can’t win.

“Now I’m vindicated. With this, they have only succeeded in making their situation worse. Nigerians will defeat this tyranny ultimately.”

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the postponement of the general elections by a week, less than five hours to the start of the polls.

According to the commission, the Presidential and National Assembly elections, initially scheduled for today, February 16, will now hold on February 23, while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced the decision at a short press briefing at 2:44 am on Saturday morning.

He said, “Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.

“Consequently, the commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly elections to Saturday, 23 February 2019.

“Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly, and Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections are rescheduled to Saturday, 9 March 2019.”

Zamfara: Fayose Cautions Yari Against Violence Over INEC Rejection Of APC Candidates

Governor Ayodele Fayose

 

Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has cautioned
the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari against instigating
violence over the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
position barring the All Progressives Congress (APC) from fielding
candidates in the general elections in the State.

The former governor also urged that the attention of the international
community be focused on Zamfara.

Fayose, who spoke through his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, said on
Saturday, that Governor Yari must be held accountable for violence in
the State, noting that; “Having surrendered his powers as Chief
Security Officer of the State, he should stop making statements
capable of inciting violence just because APC will not field
candidates in the elections.”

READ ALSO: Elections: Zamfara Gov Defends Campaign, Asks INEC To Respect High Court Order

Fayose said; “It should be noted that Kabir Marafa, the Senator
representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District in the National
Assembly on the platform of the APC said on January 31 that he doesn’t
give a damn if the party (APC) loses in Zamfara in forthcoming
elections.

“It is instructive to note that exactly five days after Senator Marafa
made this widely publicized statement, suspected bandits killed his
sister, Ade Marafa, and abducted her husband in Zamfara State.

“Should this be called a coincidence or linked to the comment Senator
Marafa made?”

The former governor said it was important for political leaders in
Nigeria to operate within the rules, adding that “It is not the fault
of INEC that internal crisis in the APC in Zamfara, just like other
States caused the party its rights to field candidates for National
Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly candidates.

“Therefore, Governor Yari should just lick his political wounds
quietly and let the people of Zamfara elect his successor from among
candidates of other participating political parties.”

Alleged Fraud: Fayose’s Trial To Continue On Monday

Governor Ayodele Fayose

 

The trial of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose over alleged $7.2bn fraud charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) continues on Monday, February 4, 2019.

Fayose will be brought before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court Lagos where former Minister of Defence for State Senator Musiliu Obanikoro testified against him.

READ ALSOAlleged Fraud: Obanikoro Testifies, Says He Gave $5m To Fayose

Obanikoro had at the last adjourned date testified that he gave Fayose the sum of $5m in cash out of the National Security impress account on the instruction of the then National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

Dasuki is also standing trial over alleged fraud of $2.1bn meant for the purchase of equipment to combat Boko Haram insurgents between 2013 to 2015.

Subsequently, the counsel to Mr Fayose, Kanu Agabi (SAN), applied for an adjournment to enable him to cross-examine Mr Obanikoro.

He said he would need more time to look through his statements before cross-examining the witness.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case to February 4, 5 and 6, 2019 respectively for the continuation of the trial but ruled that it will be the last adjournment right from defendants until its conclusion.

Mr Fayose and his company, Spotless, are facing 11 charges of conspiracy and money laundering.

Buhari Is Not Sincere With Workers’ Minimum Wage, Fayose Says

Fayose Involved In Road Accident
Former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose (file)

 

Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said President Muhammadu Buhari was never sincere with workers on the N30,000 minimum wage.

Fayose described Wednesday’s setting up of an advisory technical committee as diversionary and a plot to “further deceive the workers”.

He said the President became jittery when the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) vowed not to vote for him unless the N30,000 minimum wage is implemented and opted to deceiving the workers with the Bismark Rewane led committee.

According to a release issued on Wednesday by Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, the former governor asked what other function the committee will perform since he already promised to send a bill to the National Assembly to effect the change from N18,000 to N30,000 three months ago.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Government Is Corrupt, Says Saraki

Fayose said; “It is on record that on November 6, 2018, while receiving the report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage, President Buhari endorsed N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. He also promised to send a bill to the National Assembly to effect the change from N18,000 to N30,000.

“This is more than three months and the President is now setting up another committee purportedly to recommend modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage. So what did the first committee that recommended the N30,000 minimum wage actually do?

“How committees is he going to set up on a new minimum wage that he told Nigerians that he already approved since November last year and was set to present the bill to the National Assembly?

“The President is simply playing on the intelligence of the workers by giving impression that he is committed to the new minimum wage so as to get votes from the them.

“The workers should therefore shine their eyes and avoid being deceived by a President who has failed in all ramifications and desperately seeking to hold on to power even at the expense of the
suffering Nigerians.”

While insisting that the president cannot provide any solution to the problems of Nigeria, Governor Fayose said “no amount of deceitful committee will sway the workers into reelecting allowing a failed government to superintend over the country for another four years”.

President Buhari Inaugurates Advisory Technical Committee

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, inaugurated an advisory technical committee on the proposed N30,000 new minimum wage.

The committee which is made up of experienced economists and administrators is to be headed by a popular economist, Bismark Rewane.

Buhari while inauguration the committee in Abuja, restated his commitment to paying the new minimum wage.

He said the committee would recommend “modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage in such a manner as to minimise its inflationary impact, as well as ensure that its introduction does not lead to job losses.”

Buhari added that “the work of this Technical Committee will be the basis of a Finance Bill which will be submitted to the National Assembly, alongside the Minimum Wage Bill.