Alade Sunday, senior manager and branch head of Zenith bank, Akure, Ondo state, has vividly narrated before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of an Abuja Federal High Court how the Akure branch of Zenith bank, helped the duo of former minister of state, Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro and Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti state move a total of N1, 219, 490, 000.
The revelation came to the fore at the commencement of the trial of one Abiodun Agbele, an accomplice of Fayose, who was arraigned alongside former minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro (in absentia), Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, A. O. Adewale, Tunde Oshinowo and Olalekan Ogunseye (all at large) before the court on an 11 count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.2billion, allegedly transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), by the embattled former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Wahab Shittu, Sunday informed the court that he saw the accused (Agbele) on June 17, 2014, when his zonal head, Abiodun Oshodi informed him that he received a message from one Lawrence Akande who is a Regional Manager of Zenith Bank in Ibadan, Oyo state, that a customer of the bank will be coming with cash through Akure branch, and since his branch is in Akure, he should arrange for a bullion van to be taken to the airport to convey the cash when it arrives.
“After about one hour my zonal head, Abiodun walked to me that the customer in question was in the bank with him and I followed him to his office and he introduced the defendant to me as the customer.
“He told me that they have security details and I don’t need other security since they had enough. That was how we left the office, me, my zonal head and the bullion van driver with the defendant and some of his securities, including one Adewale who is an Aide de Camp of Obanikoro.
“When we got to the airport we waited for some minutes before the aircraft arrived with some occupant. When the occupants came down, the defendant walked to meet them and they discussed. The cash was put in our bullion van and we drove back to the branch with the defendant.
“One of the occupants appeared to be Musiliu Obanikoro and one other person who I do not know.
“When we got to the branch we bundle counted the cash and it was about N724, 500, 000. The defendant told us that more cash was still coming, and he left for the airport. In the evening of the same date, we went back to the airport, when the aircraft brought the balance and offloaded and went back to the branch, myself with my zonal head and Agbele and his team’, he stated.
As stated in his witness statement, the second tranche of money amounted to N494, 990, 000
The prosecution tendered before the court the statements made by the witness to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which the court admitted as exhibits AA1A – AA1D.
The witness further testified that Agbele was the customer whose account was being operated and gave instructions on how the monies were to be transferred.
He recounted before the court that the sum of N100 million was credited into the account of one Spotless Investment account number 1010170969 domiciled in Ibadan branch of the bank, N219,490,000, N300million and N200million were transferred into the account of one De Privateer Limited with account number 1013835889 also domiciled in Ibadan , while the sum of N137million was transferred into the account of Ayodele Fayose.
Agbele was said to have eventually taken away the cash balance of N263million with the security team to Ado Ekiti on the same day the cash was delivered in Akure.
The witness who said he could not recognize the number of the aircraft that conveyed the stash of money said it was metallic in colour, and he could recognize the face of Obanikoro, while the cash was placed in “Ghana-must-go” sacks.
According to him, the other aircraft that brought the second batch of cash was smaller in size and the sacks of money were too numerous for him to ascertain the exact number of them.
The trial court adjourned the matter to November 14 and 17, 2016 for the continuation of the trial.