2nd December, 2021
By Akin Kuponiyi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday re-arraigned the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, along side his company, Spotless Limited before a Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
In an amended charge filed before the court, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele, who is also standing trial over alleged money laundering offences before another division of the Federal high court, were alleged to have taken possession of N1.219 billion on 17 of June 2014 to fund Fayose’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign election in Ekiti State.
They were accused of committing criminal breach of trust, theft and stealing of public funds,while on the same day received the sum of $5 million USD, from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who was then Minister of State for Defence without going through any financial institution.
The commission alleged that on April 7, 2015, Fayose retained the sum of N300 million, in his fixed deposit account.
Fayose and his company, Spotless Limited were also alleged to have between June 17 and August 4, 2014, took control of the sum of N317 million, and deposited same in his account.
The former Ekiti State Governor was also alleged to have between June 26 and August 27, 2014, took control of the sum of N305,760,000, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful act, while procuring one of his aides Abiodun Agbele and a company, De-privateer Limited, to retain the sum of N719,490,000 in their bank account.
The EFCC further accused Fayose to have used the sum of N270 million and N1.151,711,573 respectively, to acquire properties at Plot 1,504, Yedsema Street, Maitama, Abuja from one Rabi Kundili, and Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, at Plot 100, Tiyamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in the name of JJ Technical Services.
In one of the counts, it was alleged that Fayose between October 16 and December 31, 2018, failed to declare his assets, by not completing the asset declaration form during investigation.
The offences are contrary to sections 15(2)(d); 1 and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and punishable under section 15(3)(4); 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Fayose pleaded not guilty to all the 11 counts charges.
Before his re-arrangement, Mrs Joanne Tolulope, EFFC’s 11th witness, while being cross-examined by Fayose’s counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN) affirmed that her company, Still Earth Limited only dealt with Mr Abiodun Agbele the associate of former Ekiti State governor Peter Ayodele Fayose who is standing trial alongside his company Spotless Investment Ltd.
When asked if she was involved in the preparation of the Deed of Assignment in respect of the properties leading to the charge, she said that her company engaged the service of external lawyer, Barr Kolawole.
The witness when also probed by Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), counsel to Fayose’s company, Spotless Limited, if all parties in the transaction leading to the trial were fictitious, she said she could only vouch for her company, Till Earth Limited, which deals with Mr Abiodun Agbele.
After the cross examination, EFCC counsel Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN informed the court that the new amended charge have been filed and sought the court’s permission to re-arraign Fayose.
Subsequently, Fayose and his company were arraigned on money laundering and non-declaration of assets charge.
Meanwhile, Fayose’s trial continues tomorrow