Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he gave the sum of N2.3bn to the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, in the run-up to the Ekiti State governorship election in 2014.
Obanikoro was said to have also told operatives that N60m was converted to dollars at N168 per dollar and given to Fayose.
The minister told operatives of the anti-graft commission, who continued his interrogation in Abuja on Tuesday, that he personally handed over N5,357,357 to the governor on an occasion.
A top operative of the commission, who spoke to The Punch on condition of anonymity, said Obanikoro told his interrogators that the money was transferred to Fayose on the instruction of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, (retd.).
The source alleged that following the instructions from the former NSA, the sum of N1.3bn was brought for transfer to Fayose by Diamond Bank in a bullion van.
Obanikoro was also said to have told the EFCC operatives that Agbele received the money in the presence of the ex-minister’s Aide De Camp, one Lt. Adewale, and officials of Diamond Bank at the Lagos airport.
The source added, “The former minister, Obanikoro has made some revelations. You know that he responded to a petition from the office of the NSA dated 28/11/2015 under the category ‘Payment without award of contracts’.
“He admitted that N2.23bn was transferred to Macnamara for onward transfer to Governor Ayodele Fayose. He claimed that it was done on the instructions of the NSA. He also said he handed over N5,357,357 to Fayose. Obanikoro told the commission that the N1.3bn was received by Mr. Biodun Agbele, one of Fayose’s associates, in the presence of his (Obanikoro) ADC, one Lt. Adewale, and bank officials.”
The former minister was said to have told his interrogators that while he had no interaction with the officials of the bank, he called Fayose to have his consent to hand over the money to Agbele.
The source stated that Obanikoro also told his interrogators that Agbele used his (Obanikoro) mobile to speak to Fayose to confirm receipt of the money.
“Obanikoro also said the money was moved from the Lagos airport to Akure airport in two flights. He said he instructed that the money be handed over to the governor before leaving with the first flight,” the source said.
The source said the ex-defence minister, however, denied ownership of Sylvan Mcnamara, the company that received N4.685bn from the ONSA between April 4, 2014 and November 13, 2014.