Justice Chukujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, adjourned further hearing in the trial of a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and his company, Spotless Investment Limited, over an alleged N6.9 billion fraud, till March 20, 2023.
The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, re-arraigned Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering and stealing to the tune of N6.9 billion.
The defendants had first been arraigned on October 22, 2018 before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.
When asked about his experience at the EFCC by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, at the resumed sitting today, Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, said: “I turned myself in at the EFCC.
“I came in from the United States of America, USA, and walked into the EFCC office.
“I was immediately criminalized and locked up for 21 days.
“Yes, a letter of complaint was written from the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA. But I believe that it was written out of ignorance because after all the investigations, I was exonerated.”
During cross-examination by counsel to the second defendant, Olakekan Ojo, SAN, on how the sum of N2.2bn was budgeted for the 2014 Ekiti State governorship election of Fayose from the Office of the NSA, Obanikoro stated that the funds came from the NSA’s Security account to Silver Maclamaran Nigeria Limited, a company under his control.
He, however, distanced himself from the operations of Silver Macmalaran, the company whose account was used to warehouse the sum of N2.2bn from the NSA’s impress account.
When asked what he knew about the fund-raising committee set up for the 2014 Ekiti State governorship election of Fayose, he said: “I was the chairman of the Committee and a lot of funds were contributed even up to the national level of our party.”
Also, when asked if he could remember the name of any member of the fund-raising committee, he mentioned two names: T.K. Aluko and Lateef Agbaje.
Obanikoro, who admitted being the owner of Silver Maclamaran, however, denied being a signatory to the company.
According to him, “Olalekan Olafare is signatory to the company’s account.”
The case was adjourned to March 20 and 21, 2023 for continuation of trial.