By Abiola David
Former minister of state, defense, Musiliu Obanikoro on Monday narrated how he transferred equivalent of $5m USD to the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose ahead of 2014 governorship election in the state.
Testifying before Justice Mijisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos during the trial of Fayose, Obanikoro said he was ordered to transfer the money from the national security funds.
The former minister said this while being led in evidence by the persecuting counsel representing the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Chief Rotimi Jacobs.
Fayose is currently being prosecuted for alleged illegal diversion of funds of about N6.9billion naira along with his company, Spotless.
“on a Monday in June, 2014 I received a call from Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose, when we were approaching the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, wanting to know if there is any message from National Security Adviser. Col Sambo Dasuki, but I replied no.
“But shortly after his call, a message came in from NSA saying certain amount of money will be received into the account that was opened to manage Boko Haram threat under my watch as minister of state for defense. NSA told me that Fayose will call me as to how he will receive the money.”
“A total equivalent of $5 million from National Security Adviser impress account was given to Fayose by the order of NSA,” Obanikoro explained to the court.
Obanikoro added that Fayose introduced one of his aides, Biodun Agbele who received the money on behave of the former governor at the Akure Airport.
“I had earlier wanted to transfer the dollars so that the Naira equivalent can be withdrawn in Ado Ekiti, which was the reason why I initially called the managing director of Diamond Bank but he replied that the bank does not have such capacity in Ado Ekiti for that huge amount of money.”
Kanu Agabi a senior advocate of Nigeria who is the counsel to Fayose prayed for the adjournment to enable him cross examined Obanikoro.
The case has been adjourned to February 4th, 5th and 6th, 2019.