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Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Fayose in the dock, Obanikoro in witness box as trial of fmr Ekiti Gov resumes



They're not mine! Fayose claims EFCC sealing houses belonging to 'innocent' people in Ekiti

The ongoing prosecution of former Ogun State governor, Ayodele Fayose, resumed as at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday.

The court had hardly begun sitting when the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, stood it down for one hour, to attend an official function.

The judge said she should be excused for an hour before returning for the continuation of the case.

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged fraud of N6.9 billion fraud said to have been received from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, in June 2014.

EFCC arraigned him on October 22, 2018, alongside a company Spotless Investment Ltd., on 11 counts. He, however, pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.

A former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, who is the fifth prosecution witness, was to be cross-examined on the matter on Monday.

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Obanikoro had earlier at the last adjourned date, on Jan. 21, claimed that Fayose received $5 million and some amounts of Naira from the imprest account of a former NSA in June 2014.

At the Monday sitting, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), announced appearance for EFCC while Messrs Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN), on the other hand, appeared for the defendant.

When the court resumed, Obanikoro was cross-examined by the second defence counsel, Mr. Ojo (SAN). He said he was testifying against Fayose reluctantly because they both enjoyed a good relationship while they were members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obanikoro, who had since joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, added that despite testifying against Fayose he wound not want their relationship to be destroyed.

When pressed hard by the defence counsel Obanikoro said,, “I’m trying to restrain myself from saying things that will further damage our relationship!”

Pushing him further Ojo, asked, “So, will it be correct to say that you are giving evidence in this case reluctantly?”

Obanikoro replied, “It’s painful for me to give evidence against him (Fayose); no doubt about it. It is indeed very painful.”

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