How Fayose used bank workers to move N200m cash from his house, in the name of a dumb depositor

March 5, 2020
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The trial of Ekiti State ex-Governor Ayodele Fayose resumed on Thursday with a bank staffer explaining to the court how Fayose in April 2016 invited Zenith Bank to move N200m cash from his house.

The amount was part of the N2.2bn fraud charge the EFCC alleged Fayose perpetrated as PDP’s governorship candidate in 2014 when he “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund his gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti.

He was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law.

As the trial resumed, Johnson Abidakun, head of operations,  told Justice C.J. Aneke that his duty was to oversee  Funds Transfer, Cash and Teller, and Customer Service.

Led in evidence by a member of the EFCC prosecuting team, Abidakun said the transaction began with a call on April 16, 2016, from his Zonal Head, Dr Abiodun Oshode, instructing him of the need to move N200m cash from Fayose’s residence down to the bank.

“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, Mr Abiodun Agbele came in with one other man, Mr Taofeek.”

According to him, Abiodun Agbele was close to the governor, and he gave instructions that the money should be credited into 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 and 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, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), Abidakun affirmed that he did not personally go to Fayose’s house but delegated Adewale Aladegbola to lead the team.

“Aladegbola was the only one that knew the destination. I didn’t tell him the amount of money but he led the team.

“When they came back, they didn’t tell me that they met the first defendant (Fayose),” the witness added.

Justice Aneke adjourned further proceedings till Friday.

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