The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday gave details of how Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and ex-Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, allegedly removed N4,685,723,000 from the account of the Office of the NSA (ONSA), which they subsequently distributed.
The EFCC, which formally arraigned an associate of Fayose, Abiodun Agbele before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday in relation to the purportedly diverted funds, made public its findings on how the money was allegedly distributed.
The commission, in a court document, said its investigation into the “alleged dissipation of public funds and abuse of office” by Dasuki led it discover that between April 4 and November 13, 2014 Obanikoro conspired with Fayose and Dasuki “to fraudulently remove the sum of N4,685,723,000 from the account of ONSA, which sum was fraudulently transferred to a company known as Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, with account No; 0026223714 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc.
“Upon the receipt of the proceeds of crime, Musliu Obanikoro (the then Minister of Defence for State) fraudulently conveyed the sum of N1,219,490,000 to Akure to the use of Mr. Ayodele Fayose. On the 17th and 18th day of June 2014, one Mr. Alade Oluseye (staff of Zenith Bank, Akure branch) in company of defendant/applicant (Abiodun Agbele, a front of Mr. Ayodele fayose) went to the Akure Airport and took delivery of the said sum from Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro and others.
“On the 18th June 2014 the appellant, Abiodun Agbele received an instruction Mr. Ayodele Fayose to collect the money and he thereafter made cash deposit in the sum of N219,490,000 to De privateer Ltd account No:1013835889 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc. Agbele is the operator and sole signatory of the Zenith Bank Plc account No:1013835889 belonging to De Privateer Ltd.
“On the 19th of June 2014 the defendant/applicant also made cash deposit in the sum of N300,000,000 being proceeds from the N1,219,490,000 into the said De privateer Ltd account. On 23rd the defendant/applicant deposited the sum of N200,000,000 into Zenith Bank account No: 1003126654 in the name of Ayodele Fayose.
“The defendant/applicant, in further dissipating the funds, being proceeds of the crime, carried out various transactions including payments to Spotless Investment Ltd, Still Earth Ltd, etc on the instruction and for the benefit of Mr. Ayodele Fayose,” the EFCC said in a counter affidavit filed against a bail application by Agbale.
Earlier, the court took Agbele’s plea on the 11-count charge of money laundering brought against him and three companies – Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, De Privateer Ltd and Spotless Investment Ltd. He pleaded not guilty following which his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) argued his bail application, to which lead prosecution lawyer, Jonson Ojogbane objected on the grounds that Agbele would jump bail and interfere with prosecution witnesses if granted bail.
A detective with the EFCC, Samson Oloje, who deposed to the counter-affidavit, described Agbele as “a flight risk” and that he has “perfected plans to flee from the country until he was arrested.
“The applicant in conjunction with Musiliu Obanikoro (now at large) colluded to move and aid the escape of Olalekan Ogunseye, a principal suspect in this case, out of Nigeria and if released on bail, will also flee from jurisdiction.
“The defendant/applicant, prior to his arrest, was still in contact with the said Olalekan and plans have also been concluded to get the defendant out of the country by Musiliu Obanikoro and his principal, Ayodele Fayose, the Governor of Ekiti State.”
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, after listening to arguments by parties on the bail application, adjourned to today for ruling. He ordered that Agbele be remanded in Kuje prison pending the ruling.
In count one of the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/154/2016, Agbele is accused of conspiring with Obanikoro (now at large), Sylvan Mcnamara ltd, A. O. Adewale (now at large), Tunde Oshinowo (now at large) and Olalekan Ogunseye (now at large), while being sole signatory to the Zenith Bank account of Sylvan Mcnamara ltd, between April 4 and November 13, 2014 “to commit illegal act to wit: laundering the sum of N4,685,723,000,000 being sum transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser with Central Bank of Nigeria by Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
He was, in count two, alleged to have worked with banikoro, Lt. A. O. Adewale (now at large) and Dr. Tunde Oshinowo (now at large) “on or about 17th of June 2015 directly take possession or control of the sum of N1,219,000,000 being part of the N4,685,723,000,000” allegedly removed from the ONSA account with CBN..
Agbele was in counts three, accused of paying N100milion into a Zenith Bank account No: 1010170969 belonging to Spotles Investment Ltd around June 17, 2015. He was, in count five said to have around June 18, 2014 “di retain the sum of N219,490,000 in Zenith Bank account number 1013835889 belonging to De Privateer Ltd (while he was the company’s Managing Director).
Agbele was accused, in count eight, of transferring, on or about 26th June 2014, N137m “into the account of fayose Ayodele domiciled in Zenith Bank, Akure branch with account number: 1003126654,” when he ought to have reasonably known that the funds formed part of the proceeds of “unlawful activity of Dasuki and Obanikoro to wit: Criminal breach of trust and fraud.”
The defendant was further accused, in count 11 of converting about N263m to personal use while he was the Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) around June 17, 2015.