Fayose’s N6.9bn trial: Obanikoro admits he was a suspect

Musiliu Obanikoro

A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, admitted that he was suspected and investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in relation to funds disbursed from the office of the former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr Obanikoro was again brought before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday as a prosecution witness against former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is facing an 11-count charge bordering on N6.9 billion fraud.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun handling the trial had earlier risen shortly after the court began sitting to attend an official function and returned an hour later.

Obanikoro, the fifth prosecution witness, had on January 21, said that he received $5 million in 2014 from Mr Dasuki through Mr Fayose.

While being cross-examined by defence counsel, Kanu Agabi, Obanikoro said: “I gave evidence of what transpired; I was stating the truth and nothing but the truth,” adding that he was in custody for 21 days.

He admitted that N1.3 billion was brought in bullion van by Diamond Bank on Dasuki’s instruction.

Under cross-examination by Ojo, Obanikoro told the court that the money was kept in a bank and not in his custody.

“You agreed to return the sum of N200 million to the government of Nigeria,” Ojo told the witness, who replied: “You are very wrong.”

Ojo told him that he agreed to refund the N200 million because he ought not to have spent the money the way he did, but the witness replied: “That’s not correct; it is because it was intended to secure Lagos.”

The trial will continue on Tuesday.