A former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, on Monday told a federal high court that money was given to former Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti from the impress account of a former National Security Adviser, in June 2014.
Obanikoro gave evidence in the trial of Fayose before Justice Mojisola Olaterogun in Lagos.
Fayose is facing charges of N6.9 billion fraud.
He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Oct. 22, 2018, alongside a company Spotless Investment Ltd., on 11 counts.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
Substantive trial began on Nov. 19, 2018, with the EFCC calling four witnesses.
On Monday, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) appeared for the EFCC, while Messrs Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) represented the first and second accused respectively.
Jacobs then called on Obanikoro, the fifth prosecution witness, to give evidence.
The counsel led the former minister in evidence.
Jacobs asked him where he was in 2014 and he told the court that he was the Minister of State for Defence.
The counsel asked him to tell the court what he knew about the case.
The witness testified that in June 2014, when Ekiti State governorship election was near, he received a call from the accused, enquiring from him if there was any ‘message’ for him from the then National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The witness said that he told Fayose that there was none but promised to check with the NSA and give Fayose a feedback.
He told the court that eventually, the NSA confirmed to him that he had a “message” for the accused and that the funds would be made available.
The prosecutor then showed the witness exhibit E to confirm if it was the account to which the funds were transferred, and the witness replied: “Yes”.
The witness told the court that on June 13, 2014, and June 16, 2014, funds were posted into the account, adding that the funds were from the impress account of the NSA.
He said that he asked the accused how he wanted the money, and he told him that some amounts should be paid in Naira and others in dollars.
According to him, the money was eventually brought in a bullion van to the private wing of the Ikeja Airport, where one Agbele, sent by the accused, was on standby.
He testified that after confirmation from the accused, the money was taken to Ekiti.
The witness told the court that afterwards, he went to Ado-Ekiti to meet the accused in his hotel, known as Spotless, and gave him the dollar component which was five million dollars.
The prosecution counsel asked Obanikoro how many days it was to the Ekiti governorship election when he gave Fayose the money.
“About three days to the election,” the witness replied.
Prosecution also asked the former minister the source of the money.
“The NSA is the only person that can ascertain the source of the money; it is from the impress account of the NSA,” he said.
The counsel asked how the money was debited and the witness told court that he gave instructions to the managing director of the Diamond bank, but was not available when the deductions were made.
When asked his connection with the accounts, Obanikoro said that it was used for security purposes, adding that he would not want to divulge further information on that.
After the evidence, the defence sought an adjournment to enable it to cross-examine the witness.
After several objections and counter objections, the judge granted an adjournment until Feb. 4, for cross-examination of Obanikoro.
The EFCC said that, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele took possession of N1.2 billion for funding his gubernatorial election campaign.
The commission said that the accused reasonably ought to have known that the sum formed part of crime proceeds.
It alleged that Fayose received a cash payment of five million dollars (about N1.8 billion) from Obanikoro without going through any financial institution, noting that the sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.
It also accused Fayose of retaining N300 million in his Zenith Bank account and taking control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sums, it said, formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was also alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd. and Still Earth Ltd., to retain in their Zenith and FCMB accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which formed part of crime proceeds.
He was also accused of illegally using the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja.
The accused was also alleged to have illegally used N200 million to acquire a property in Abuja in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the alleged offences contravene Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011. (NAN)
ASUU Meets FG today over predominate strike causing anxiousness in Nigerian Universities
As the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, make arrangements to meets the Federal Government on Monday (today).Some students have shown concerns over the planned industrial action by ASUU
9jaflair reports that the FG through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has scheduled to meet with the leadership of the union over the predominate strike action.
Recollect that the union had on June 19, threatened to embark on another strike over the alleged deliberate refusal of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, to pay the salaries and remittance of check-off dues of over 1,000 staff for 13 months.
The ASUU chairman University of Jos, Dr Lazarus Maigoro who made the revelation in a press statement accused the AGF of fanning the embers of discord between the Federal Government and the Union.
In a move to forestall the industrial action, the Federal Government would meet with the union 2pm today to look at the unending issues.
Recollect that the union had on March 23, 2020, embarked on an industrial action which lasted for over 9 months, the longest of its strike in 10 years over the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues and implement some agreement the two parties entered years ago.
Consisting thea fresh development, some students spoke with 9jaflair to register their grievances over incessant strike actions in Nigerian Universities.
A 300 level student of the Benue State University, Makurdi, Miss Martha Onuh, lamented the current move by ASUU, urging the union to put the interest of the students at heart.
She said, “After staying at home for a while during academic calendar year in 2020, you think I will be happy hearing that ASUU may still embark on strike? Sometimes I don’t even care to know who is at fault and who is right. The Federal Government and the union should put our interest at heart.
“I applied for 4 years course, this is my 5th year in the university yet I’m in 300 level. It’s bad,”she lamented.
Similarly, James a final year student of the University of Nigeria, Nnsuka in a chat with our correspondent, appealed to both parties to find a means of settling their differences without industrial action.
“Most times, ASUU would say that they are fighting for the benefit of the students but at the end, the students who they claim that they are fighting for are the ones losing.
“Is there no other way for a union to register its grievances without a strike action? The incessant industrial action by the union, to me has crippled Nigerian universities,” he added.
Also, a Master’s Degree student in the university of Abuja, Adebayo Micheal urged the Federal Government and ASUU to settle their differences once and for all.
He said, “We can not be talking about strike every year. It’s quite shameful that our education system is never stable. I think even if it would take them one whole year to settle their differences and end it forever, it would be better for the students.
We await the result of today’s meeting by the union with FG.
Procrastination flew you away
Oh my loving Desdemona
Time could not wait for you
Your owners procastinate your life
But could not procrastinate your death
Delay caught you by the throat
Even when your owners were ready
Ready to save your life
Mr A was the problem
But Mr B cure was administered to you
Different pins went into your skin daily
These wicked vets., refused to allow your owners know about the nature of your sickness
These vets became useful fools
Even when the nature of your sickness was discovered
It was already too late
Too late to revive you
For the cold fingers already held you by the throat
For the sickness has eaten you deep
Deep beyond measures
The last pin entered your skin
Its content deliberating life or death
The last pin entered into your skin and its content sent you packing
Out of these beautiful world
Oh no the youngest owner watched
Watched the world crumble
For our beautiful Desdemona breath her last
Breath her last; at the same time tears dropped
Out of our last born’s eyes.
Summary: This write up is an Eulogy for the death of a dog. The owners of the dog lives at Oko-afo, Badagry. It was written by the last child of that family because of how close the child was to that dog, the last child is now a grown up and has decided to write an Eulogy for her lost Desdemona… Eulogy for a dog?
Bandits attack police formation, kill 13 officers in Zamfara
Armed men suspected to be bandits have attacked the Kurar Mota community in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing at least 13 police officers
We gathered that the incident occured on Sunday when the assailants invaded a police formation and gunned down officers on duty.
A residents who identified himself as Kabir Dansada, told Daily Trust that the armed men had earlier attempted to invade Magami, a community located 50km south of Gusau, the state capital, but were repelled by soldiers.
“They withdrew after they were overpowered by the soldiers there. They then rode to a community along Magami – Dankurmi – Dangulbi road and killed one person and torched four shops.”
“Thereafter, they moved to Kurar Mota community and attacked the police formation near the township clinic. The criminals then dashed into the forest”
“The slain officers and the injured ones were conveyed to Gusau in a convoy of police vehicles this afternoon. I saw several police vehicles move towards the area,” he said.
When contacted by our correspondent, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Muhammad Shehu said he would inquire and revert.
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