Former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro is one of the 22 witnesses assembled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to testify against the immediate-past Governor of Ekiti state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, in court.
This comes as the anti-graft agency is expected to arraign the former governor before the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday (today) for an alleged fraud of N2.2bn.
The EFCC alleged that Fayose took possession of illegal monies to fund his 2014 governorship 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.”
Other witnesses include a former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr Alex Otti as well as Fayose’s account officer Ayotunde Owope.
According to the commission, Owope opened a bank account for Fayose therefore he will give evidence on how funds were transferred from one account into another.
Obanikoro, who is listed by the commission as the second witness, is expected to testify about how he took N2.2bn from the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, for onward delivery to Fayose in June 2014.
Obanikoro is also to testify to the court how Fayose allegedly requested that out of the N2.2bn, N1.2bn should be delivered to him in cash while the remaining N800m should be converted to US dollars.
After arraigning Fayose today (Monday), the EFCC is expected to start calling its witnesses.
Obanikoro who is expected to be the commission’s star witness however, has reportedly travelled out of the country with no definite return date.
According to a source close to the former minister;
“Obanikoro travelled out on Wednesday evening, saying he wanted to go for medical treatment. He gave no date when he would return.”
Ex-Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Otti, is also expected to tell the court how sometime in 2014, Obanikoro approached him in his office in Lagos, saying he expected the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay certain sums of money into the Diamond Bank account of a firm, Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd., and that he needed the money or most of it transferred to Ekiti.
Otti is further expected to tell the court how Diamond Bank offered to transfer the money electronically but Obanikoro insisted that he wanted the money delivered in cash to Ekiti.
The bank had allegedly charged a fee of five per cent and made arrangement to transfer the cash to Ekiti the following day.