My Life Is In Danger, Obanikoro Alleges As He Testifies Against His Bossom Friend, Fayose

Musiliu Obanikoro the former Minister of Defence is presently not having a good time even as the trial of the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose continues.

The trial continued on Tuesday where Mr. Musiliu was further cross examined.

The trial revolves around the alleged N2.2bn fraud against former Governor Ayodele Fayose and his company, Spotless Limited which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was used to launder the money.

Fayose and the company are standing trial for 11 counts of charges bordering on criminal breach of trust, stealing and money laundering at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

At the Tuesday hearing, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had at the instance of Spotless Limited’s lawyer, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN) admitted into evidence the killing of one Mr Justin Erukaa, who worked as the Special Assistant to Obanikoro, before his died.

When cross examined, Obanikoro testified in court and narrated how his Special Assistant had died and he had got to hear of it just after making an extrajudicial statement to the EFCC.

In admitting Erukaa’s statement as Exhibit J, the judge overruled the objection raised by the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to the admissibility of the document.

“This Justin Erukaa, who was one of your Special Assistants, can you tell the court how you got to know about his death after making Exhibit J?” Ojo further asked.

Responding, Obanikoro said, “He (Erukaa) left Lagos a day before Sallah about two years ago, and the police called one of my SAs that the owner of the phone just had an accident and died on the spot; and he (the other SA) immediately called me and informed me.”

Asked by Ojo whether he attended Erukaa’s burial, Obanikoro said, “I was there with my family.”

Following a few further questions, Ojo told the court that he was done with Obanikoro, whose testimony began on January 21 and spanned five adjournments.

After Obanikoro stepped down from the witness box, the prosecution invited its sixth witness, Mr Olugboyega Falae, a banker, who was questioned about a property known as No. 44, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja.

The EFCC had in one of the 11 counts against Fayose, alleged that the former governor purchased “a property at No.44, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja for N200m” in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji.

Upon the conclusion of Falae’s evidence-in-chief and cross-examination, the judge adjourned till Wednesday (today) for further proceedings.

In the charges against him, the EFCC, among other things, alleged that on June 17, 2014 Fayose “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial 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.”

He was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”

But the governor, alongside his co-defendant, Spotless Limited, has pleaded not guilty.

Source: Punch

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