The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re-arraigns former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and his firm, Spotless Limited, before a Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, on Thursday.
In an amended charge filed with the court, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele, who is also on trial for alleged money laundering offences before another division of the Federal High Court, were accused of taking possession of N1.219 billion on June 17, 2014, to fund Fayose’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign election in Ekiti State.
They were accused of criminal breach of trust, theft, and stealing public monies while receiving $5 million USD on the same day from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who was then Minister of State for Defence, without going through any financial institution.
The commission alleged that on April 7, 2015, Fayose retained the sum of N300 million, in his fixed deposit account.
Fayose and his company, Spotless Limited were also alleged to have between June 17 and August 4, 2014, took control of the sum of N317 million, and deposited same in his account.
The former Ekiti State Governor was also alleged to have between June 26 and August 27, 2014, took control of the sum of N305,760,000, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful act, while procuring one of his aides Abiodun Agbele and a company, De-privateer Limited, to retain the sum of N719,490,000 in their bank account.
The EFCC further accused Fayose to have used the sum of N270 million and N1.151,711,573 respectively, to acquire properties at Plot 1,504, Yedsema Street, Maitama, Abuja from one Rabi Kundili, and Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, at Plot 100, Tiyamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in the name of JJ Technical Services.
In one of the counts, it was alleged that Fayose between October 16 and December 31, 2018, failed to declare his assets, by not completing the asset declaration form during investigation.
The offences are contrary to sections 15(2)(d); 1 and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and punishable under section 15(3)(4); 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Fayose has pled not guilty to all 11 allegations.
Mrs Joanne Tolulope, EFFC’s 11th witness, testified before his re-arrangement while being cross-examined by Fayose’s counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), that her company, Still Earth Limited, only dealt with Mr Abiodun Agbele, an associate of former Ekiti State Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose, who is on trial alongside his company Spotless Investment Ltd.
When questioned if she was involved in the preparation of the Deed of Assignment in relation to the properties that led to the accusation, she stated that her firm used an outside lawyer, Barr Kolawole.
When Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), counsel to Fayose’s firm, Spotless Limited, asked the witness whether all participants in the transaction leading to the trial were fictional, she replied she could only testify for her company, Till Earth Limited, which trades with Mr Abiodun Agbele.
After the cross examination, EFCC counsel Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN informed the court that the new amended charge have been filed and sought the court’s permission to re-arraign Fayose.
Subsequently, Fayose and his company were arraigned on money laundering and non-declaration of assets charge.
Meanwhile, Fayose’s trial continues tomorrow.
Confusion as security operatives exchange blows during Buhari’s Kaduna visit
There was confusion when security agents exchanged blows while President Muhammadu Buhari was commissioning Kawo bridge in the heart of Kaduna state, city, on Thursday.
President Buhari arrived in Kaduna State to commission projects executed by the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
The projects are in Kafanchan, Kaduna and Zaria.
Shortly after his return from Kafacnchan, the President commissioned the Kawo bridge.
However, an altercation among security operatives attached to the President and those based in Kaduna resulted in exchange of blows.
Trouble started when some operatives of the Department of State Services blocked the road to Kawo bridge soon after the President who mounted the bridge.
Governor El-Rufai, who had earlier alighted from his vehicle, rode in the President’s convoy to the bridge.
The security agents, who barred journalists and other dignitaries from accessing Kawo bridge, blocked the road after El-Rufai and the President were on the bridge.
However, El-Rufai’s Aide-De-Camp insisted that the governor’s official vehicle must be allowed access.
Daily Trust reports that the President’s security aides stood their ground and this resulted in not just an altercation but exchange of blows.
Eventually, the governor’s vehicle was given access.
Two die, five injured as truck crushes motorcycle in Cross River
The Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed the death of two persons in an accident in the early hours of Thursday in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The Public Education Officer of the Corps in Cross River State, Mark Ajuka, confirmed the death of the victims in an interview.
Ajuka, a Superintendent Route Commander, told the News Agency of Nigeria that five persons were also injured in the crash that involved a truck and a motorcycle.
He said that investigation revealed that the crash was caused by a brake failure from the truck driver.
He said: “The accident occurred early this morning in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River.
“The deceased have been evacuated from the scene of the crash, while those injured were taken to the General Hospital in Ugep for treatment.”
An eyewitness, James Eteng, told the NAN that the tragic incident occurred at St. Pius Primary School in Nko community.
“Today is a black Thursday for us in Nko community.
“We have lost a son and a daughter in an accident that occurred this morning.
“As we speak, the whole community is in mourning mood, we can only console with the family to bear the irreparable loss.”