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Alleged N6.9bn Fraud: How I Received Money For Immediate Past Governor Of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose - BANKER

Former Governor Ayodele Fayose 

BY FRANCIS IWUCHUKWU

IKOYI, LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA - Lawrence Akande, a banker with a new generation financial institution on Monday (today) informed Justice Chukwujejwu Aneke of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, of how he received sums of money sometime in 2014, on behalf of the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose at the Akure Airport in Ondo State, Nigeria.

Lawrence Akande nade this known while testifying before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke as the first prosecution witness.

It would be recalled that Ayodele Fayose is being prosecuted over alleged involvement in money laundering to the tune of N6.9bn by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ayodele Fayose was initially arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on October 22, 2018, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on an 11 counts that had to do with fraud and money laundering.

But Ayodele Fayose pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N50 million on October 24, 2018, with two sureties in like sum.

Ayodele Fayose was however re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2, 2019 and he repeated his plea and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted.

In his testimony before Justice Chukwujekeu Aneke, Lawrence Akande confirmed that the bank received deposits in tranches from Ayodele Fayose after it solicited patronage from him.

According to Lawrence Akande, former governor Ayodele Fayose maintained three accounts with the bank, namely; Spotless Investment, De Privateer, and Fayose’s personal account which he said is domiciled in Apapa.

Lawrence Akande further notified Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that in June 2014, a call was received from Ayodele Fayose informing him (Lawrence Akande) that there would be a business transaction in Akure.

Lawrence Akande then said he notified the one Biodun Oshode, who was based in Akure as Zonal head of the bank, to handle the transaction.

However, under cross examination, Lawrence Akande affirmed that it was the bank that solicited for patronage from Ayodele Fayose.

Lawrence Akande said: “He has always being my governor, and yes, as a good zonal head of my bank I solicited patronage from him.”

The cross examination went further thus: 

Defence: “You knew the defendant (Fayose) to be someone of high net worth through whom you got sufficient funds into your bank?

Witness: “Yes….A man of low means does not become the governor of a state…

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke at the instance of the prosecution adjourned further proceedings until October 22, 2019.

The EFCC in the charge stated that on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele took possession of a sum to the tune of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Former Governor Ayodele Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution.

Former Governor Ayodele Fayose was equally alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Ayodele Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

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