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University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

A former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, yesterday, appeared before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to give evidence in the trial of former Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, who is facing a N6.9 billion fraud charge.

Fayose was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside a company Spotless Investment Ltd., on 11 counts, to which he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail. Obanikoro, who admitted passing some alleged funds to Fayose from the then National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), said he was not aware of the source of the fund, but that it was from the impress account of the NSA, used for security purposes. At the resumed hearing in the matter, yesterday, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, appeared for the EFCC, while Messrs Kanu Agabi, SAN and Olalekan Ojo, SAN, appeared for the first and second accused respectively.

Jacobs, subsequently called on the fifth prosecution witness, (Obanikoro), to give his evidence. Leading the witness in his chief evidence, Jacobs asked “Where were you in 2014,” to which he told the court that at the time, he was the Minister of State for Defence. He was further asked to tell the court what he knew in relation to the instant case. Obanikoro  told the court that in June 2014, close to the Ekiti State governorship election, he received a call from the accused, enquiring from him, if there was any message for him, from the then NSA, Col. Dasuki (retd). He said: “The NSA is the only person that can ascertain the source of the money; it is from the impress account of the NSA.”

On how the money was debited, he said gave instructions to the Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, but was not available when the deductions were made. On his connection with the accounts, Obanikoro said that it was used for security purposes, adding that he does not wish to divulge further evidences on that. After his evidence, the defence then sought for an adjournment to enable it cross examine the witness, and after several objections, and counter objections, the court eventually granted an adjournment until Feb. 4, 5 and 6 for cross examination.

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Post Author: Abdul'Hakeem Ogundipe

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