Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Witness Tells Court How N1.22B Given to Fayose by Obanikoro was Counted for 10 days


A prosecution witness, Sunday Alade, on Monday informed an Abuja Federal High Court that he and his colleague took turns to count N1.22bn cash former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro delivered to the aide of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose. Alade, an official of Zenith Bank, Akure Branch in Ondo State, made the disclosure while been cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mike Ozekhome in the ongoing trial of Abiodun Agbele, Fayose’s associate on charges of money laundering.
Disclosing that the huge cash was in N1000 and N500 bills, the prosecution witness said his team evacuated the money allegedly airlifted to Akure airport twice by Obanikoro, before they began counting.
The banker who stated that he “got worried” when he saw the huge cash, revealed that the counting went on between 8am and 3pm for 10 days, adding that the total amount was N1,219,490,000. Alade also identified documents, including account opening packages for the accounts of Fayose, Spotless Investment and Deprivateer and statements of transactions in the accounts. He informed the court that Agbele gave directives on how the money was disbursed and went away with the cash balance of over N230m, which was allegedly taken to Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State Capital.
According to the witness, “It took us 10 whole days to count the money after we brought it from the Akure Airport. It took us from 8am to 3pm daily to count the money. Some time, the officials counting it would take time off.” In October, a prosecution witness, Sunday Alade Oluseye Sunday had informed the court of how he helped Agbele transport about N1.2bn in the build-up to the 2014 election in Ekiti State .
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Agbele alongside three companies: Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, De Privateer and Spotless for allegedly laundering about N4,685,723,000,000. The anti-graft agency claimed that the said sum emanated from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
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