Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Nigeria: Witness narrates how Ex-governor Fayose moved $548,000 cash from his home to the bank

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Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, continued hearing in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, case against former Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, with a banker, Johnson Abidakun, narrating to the court how Fayose in April 2016 allegedly invited his bank to move N200milion ($547,945) cash from his residence for lodgment in an account in the bank.

Fayose, alongside Spotless Investment Limited, is facing an 11 count charge of criminal breach of trust, theft and money laundering to tune of N2.2billion.

Abidakun, Head of Operations at the Ado Ekiti branch of the bank at the time, told the court that his duty was to oversee three units, namely: Funds Transfer; Cash and Teller; and Customer Service.

The trial judge in the matter is Justice C. Aneke. Led in evidence by a member of the prosecuting team, Adebisi Adeniyi, Abidakun said the transaction began with a call on April 16, 2016, from his Zonal Head, Dr. Abiodun Oshode, instructing him about the need to move N200million cash from Fayose’s residence down to the bank.

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Abidakun said: “I received a call from my Zonal Head, Oshode, that there was an assignment to be carried out; that there was a sum of N200m to be moved from the residence of the then governor, Ayodele Fayose; that we had to go and move the cash urgently and I immediately called upon the cash officer to arrange for policemen.

“The policemen arrived after 30 minutes. We arranged for their payment and called it police money. We also arranged for the cash driver and the cash movers. “So, they set out for the assignment. After about one hour, they came back with the money and the money was counted and ascertained to be N199.5m as against N200m.

While detailed counting of the money was going on, Agbele came in with one other man, Mr. Taofeek. “I know Agbele to be close to the governor but I didn’t know his position; he gave instructions that the money should be credited to the account of Still Earth Nigeria Limited and that the depositor was Mr. Taofeek.” “At the point of posting, I discovered that the deposit slip was filled by my subordinate, Oputu Okeimute.

I asked him why he filled the deposit slip, he said the depositor could not read or write. After that, the money was credited into the account of Still Earth.” Under cross-examination by Fayose’s lawyer, Mr. Ola Olanipekun, SAN, Abidakun affirmed that he did not personally go to Fayose’s house but delegated Adewale Aladegbola to lead the team.

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($1 = N365)

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