You Compromised Our Witness, EFCC Tells Fayose

0

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday accused former Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, of compromising its witness. The commission said it was replacing the witness allegedly compromised by Fayose

Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Rotimi Jacobs, said Fayose compromised Adewale Aladegbola, a bullion van driver.

Jacobs told Justice C.J. Aneke that the witness gave evidence that was different from what he rendered at the commision’s office during investigation.

The witness, Aladegbola had appeared before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who initially heard the case. “It is only in our country that this type of things happens; the witness before Olatoregun J., was compromised by this defendant.

“If not because of my intervention, this defendant would have been facing another charge”, he said.

Cousels to Fayose, Messrs Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN), had opposed the attempt to replace Aladegbola with Johnson Abidakun, who is the Head of Operations, Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch.

They argued that the prosecution should not change a witness just because such a witness failed to give evidence in their favour.

The trial could not proceed be as a result. The argued that the attempt to change the witness was an abuse of prosecutorial powers by EFCC and urged the court not to allow such replacement.

The prosecutor argued that with the case before Justice Aneke, the matter had started afresh.

Intense arguments between the cousels led to arguments between the  lawyers led to the adjournment of the case.

Justice Aneke subsequently adjourned the matter till November 28, 2019 for ruling.

The charges read that on June 17, 2014, Fayose, “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”

That the former governor “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 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”