- A Zenith bank zonal head, Lawrence Akande, has linked Governor Ayo Fayose to the N1.2bn allegedly received from the ONSA under Sambo Dasuki
- Akande said he first met Fayose as the PDP’s candidate in the then imminent July 2014 governorship election in Ekiti
- He said he further led a team of the bank’s officials to Fayose after he won the governorship election, and confirmed knowing the governor on a one-on-one basis
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state has been linked to the N1.2bn allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col Sambo Dasuki (retd), by the zonal head of Zenith Bank Plc, Lawrence Akande, Punch reports.
The aforementioned sum of money was allegedly received about a month to Fayose’s second term election in 2014; and is the subject of the ongoing trial of Abiodun Agbele, an aide to the governor.
NAIJ.com notes that Agbele and three companies were arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in August 2016, on 11 counts of money laundering involving N4,685,723,000,000 allegedly taken from the ONSA’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, by Col Dasuki.
The three companies charged alongside Agbele are Sylvan Mcnamara Limited linked to Musiliu Obanikoro, a former minister of state for defence; De Privateer Limited run by Agbele, and Spotless Investment Limited whose bank account was allegedly being operated by Fayose and his wife, Feyisetan.
According to the anti-graft agency, Agbele along with Obanikoro and other suspects, said to be at large, took N1,219,000,000 from the total of N4,685,723,000,000, on June 17, 2014; which they retained, transferred and even converted for their personal use.
The EFCC argued that the accused ought to have known that the money was part of proceeds of Dasuki’s unlawful activity.
Akande, the second prosecution witness, told the court on Monday, May 14, that received a call from Fayose on June 17, 2014, regarding a ‘deposit’ made into the bank; and that he was asked by the governor, to liase with Agbele, regarding the matter.
Narrating how he crossed paths with Fayose, Akande said he first met him as the then Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the then imminent July 2014 governorship election in the state.
He said on the prompting of another zonal manager of the bank, Abiodun Osode, in Akure, he led Osode and some other officials of the bank to appeal to Fayose as then PDP’s governorship candidate to patronise the bank for the election expenses.
In his words: “Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose had been a customer of the bank before I got to Ibadan. But preparatory to the 2016 governorship election in the state, Abiodun Osode met me as a senior official of the bank from Ekiti state, to help to approach Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose to please patronise our bank.
“I led my team to him and we appealed to him in this regard. That was my first contact with him.
“On June 17, 2014, Mr Ayodele Fayose called me that I should liaise with Mr. Abiodun Agbele about a deposit to be made in the bank. He said the deposit would be coming to Akure. And I called Abiodun Osode who was seated in Akure to liaise with Mr Abiodun Agbele and that is all I know about this issue.”
He added that in order to appeal for Ekiti state Government’s patronage of the bank, he further led a team of the bank’s officials to Fayose after he won the governorship election.
However, he said an agreement could not be reached with Fayose because the bank could not give the Ekiti state Government the kind of financial support the governor requested in exchange for the patronage of the bank.
He stated: “Subsequently, he won the election. After the election, we went to him to appeal to him for his government to use our bank.
“In view of the fact that the state was highly exposed, that is, the previous government had borrowed money and he said if we must have a relationship with his government we must support his government by financing his projects, we could not do business with the state. Since then I stopped going there."
Akande also confirmed that he knew both Fayose and Agbele on a one-on-one basis. He also confirmed that he had made three statements to the EFCC.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the EFCC recovered four houses in Lagos and two in Abuja allegedly owned by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The Lagos houses, worth N1 billion, and the two Abuja houses, worth N700 million, were alleged to have been bought from proceeds of N4.685 billion public funds allegedly given to both Governor Fayose and Senator Iyiola Omisore by the former national security adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, to prosecute their governorship bids in 2014.
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