Alex Enumah in Abuja
A Prosecution Witness, Alade Sunday, monday indicted former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, in the ongoing trial of Biodun Agbele, an associate to the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, stating that the former minister on June 17, 2014 brought the sum of N1.2b in two aircraft and was transported to the Akure branch of Zenith bank for onward disbursement to Spotless Investment, De Privateer limited and Ayodele Fayose’s account.
The witness, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, that the person he saw at the Akure airport where he went to receive a certain amount of money had a resemblance of the former minister.
Agbele and three others are been prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 11 count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.2 billion being fund allegedly transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser by Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The other defendants are: Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, De Privateer Ltd and Spotless Investment Ltd.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the witness who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, told the court that, “It appears like Senator Obanikoro from what I see in the television because I have never met him before
According to the witness, the sum of 1,219,490,000 (one billion, two hundred and nineteen million, four hundred and ninety) was brought in two aircraft by the former minister who later handed it over to Agbale.
The witness said the cash were in N1, 000 and N500 bills and were deposited into the accounts of Spotless Investment, De Privateer limited and Ayodele Fayose’s account on the instruction of Agbele”.
Corroborating his earlier statement at the court’s last sitting in October, 27th, 2016, the witness stated that Agbele having received custody of the cash instructed that the money be transferred to the Akure branch of Zenith Bank.
However, during cross examination by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to the first defendant, the witness admitted that he did not make a formal report of the suspected transaction in line with financial regulations.
He said he did not report the transaction because it was not his duty to do so, even though he claimed to have worked in the bank for the last 18years and was a compliance officer.
He also told the court that he was not aware if any department of the bank alerted relevant authorities of the transaction.
While disclosing that it took him and his staff ten working days to count the money, he stated that the first defendant agbele however left after they took the money to the bank.s
He disclosed further that he had never met the defendant prior to the June 17, 2014 transactions, adding that he never discussed anything related to money nor any meeting.
Earlier, Wahab Shittu, prosecuting counsel while announcing his appearance, informed the court that he had initiated the process of retrieving the defendant’s international passport from the EFCC, to be brought before the court.
It will be recalled that the court at the last adjourned date, had asked the EFCC, to produce the defendant’s international passport, having written the court that the defendant would embark on a foreign trip for medical treatment.
Original letter written by the Zenith Bank to the EFCC with the bank opening packages and other packages dated June 3, 2016 of Fayose’s account was tendered before the court and admitted as exhibit AA2, while account opening packages of Spotless Investment limited and De Privateer Limited were similarly tendered, and marked exhibit AA3 and AA4 respectively.
The matter has been adjourned trial till November 17, 2016 for continuation of cross examination of the witness.