Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, was on Tuesday (today) informed by a top official of a new generation bank, Dr Abiodun Oshode, that the financial institution took a bullion van to the Akure Airport in Ondo State to evacuate N1.219billion cash from an aircraft in 2014.
Dr. Abiodun Oshode made the revelation while being led in evidence by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Dr. Abiodun Oshode explained that the bank took the decision to render the service based on the request of the former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose’s aide, Abiodun Agbele.
Dr. Abiodun Oshode also revealed that the money was deposited in three bank accounts, including Fayose’s personal bank account.
It would be recalled that Ayodele Fayose is answering questions to allegation of money laundering to the tune of N6.9bn slammed against him by the EFCC, upon which he was re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2, 2019.
Ayodele Fayose was re-arraigned alongside a firm, Spotless Investment Ltd, on an 11 counts of fraud and money laundering.
Prior to his re-arraignment before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, former governor Ayodele Fayose had been arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun on October 22, 2018.
But Ayodele Fayose had pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N50 million on October 24, 2018 with two sureties in like sum.
During today’s proceedings on the matter, Dr Abiodun Oshode notified Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, was present during the operation at the airport “but we did not interact.”
Dr Abiodun Oshode revealed that on taking the N1.219bn cash to the bank, Abiodun Agbele made available three bank accounts into which the money was to be lodged.
Dr Abiodun Oshode listed the three accounts as those of Privateer Nigeria Ltd; Spotless Investment Ltd and “a personal account of His Excellency (Fayose).”
Dr Abiodun Oshode equally listed “Ayodele Fayose and Mrs. Olayemi Fayose” as the signatories to the account of Spotless Investment Ltd.
During cross examination and when queried by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Olalekan Ojo, as to whether on “seeing such volume of money being paid into your bank,” the bank reported the N1.219bn lodgment to the authorities as “illicit or suspicious,” Dr Abiodun responded that, “It was reported.”
Dr Abiodun Oshode hinted Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that it was the standard practice that banks must report cash transactions above N1m for an individual and N5m for a corporate body.
Dr Abiodun Oshode also said he did not get any instructions to stop the transaction after same was reported.
Dr Abiodun Oshode agreed with Olalekan Ojo (SAN) that, “the transaction was not stopped because it was deemed appropriate.”
Dr Abiodun Oshode affirmed that Ayodele Fayose invited the bank because too believed that the transaction was appropriate.?
Dr Abiodun Oshode maintained that at no time will Ayodele Fayose fill any teller at any branch of the bank, either in Ekiti or Akure.
The matter has been adjourned until Wednesday, October 23, 2019 for further proceedings.
The EFCC in the charge stated that on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele took possession of a sum to the tune of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Former Governor Ayodele Fayose was 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.
Former Governor Ayodele Fayose was equally 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.
Ayodele Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably 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 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.
Source: The News accelerator