How Fayose, Obanikoro’s sons diverted $15bn – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claims to have found a connection between the Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose and the two sons of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro – to over $15 billion which was stolen from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser during the last administration.

The EFCC is currently embroiled in a raging controversy after ordering the freezing of Fayose’s Zenith bank account on Monday.

The EFCC has also frozen the account of a company owned by Obanikoro’s two sons.

The agency, still conducting its investigations, showed some bank tellers and relevant documents allegedly indicting the suspects to Punch Newspapers.

The said documents reflected that the alleged scam happened between April 4, 2014, and December 15, 2014, when N4.745bn was paid into the Diamond Bank account of Sylvan McNamara.

The documents also showed that Sylvan McNamara was incorporated in November 2011, with the following people as directors: Ikenna Ezekwe, Idowu Oshodi and Elizabeth Adeniyi.

However, the company, on May 7, 2012, passed a resolution that an account with the following signatories – Gbolahan Obanikoro, Babajide Obanikoro, Ikenna Ezekwe and Theresa Matuluko – should be opened with Diamond bank.

A source at the EFCC was quoted to have said, “The entire fraud started from the company that Obanikoro’s sons were operating. The company was set up by some people but curiously made Obanikoro sons signatories to the account.”

Accordingly, after the money was paid into the account, about N759,384,300 was allegedly transferred into the accounts of about six bureau de change operators.

Allegedly, A. A. G. B.S Oil and Gas and North Line Limited received a major load of the money while A. A. G. B. S received N168m on June 16, 2014, North Line Limited received N835,000 on July 14; N83,750,000 on June 17; N1, 680,000 on September 3, 2014; about N2,325,300 on September 9; N5,932,500 on September 17 and N842,500 on July 30.

A detective at the EFCC said, “The owner of A. A. G. B. S Oil and Gas confirmed to us that the company is a BDC but was only bearing the name of an oil company. He confirmed that he received N168m from Sylvan McNamara and $1m was delivered to Obanikoro in cash while he was the Minister of State for Defence based on the exchange rate at the time.”

“Obanikoro acknowledged receipt of the cash and we have recovered evidence. Some of the remaining dollars was received by Obanikoro’s son, Gbolahan.”

The EFCC source further claimed that about N2 billion was withdrawn by the Obanikoro boys and then transported to the Akure Airport by air for further transfer to Ekiti state.

The detective, who showed the news outlet the flight documents said, “On June 12, 2014, barely 10 days to the Ekiti State governorship election, Obanikoro and a man, who claimed to be his Aide-de-Camp by the name of A. O. Adewale, chartered a private jet belonging to OAS Helicopters.”

“About N724,500,000 was conveyed on the plane with tail number N638MA. The plane was an HS125 jet, operated by Okin Travellers, a subsidiary of Elizade. The plane landed at Akure at 9.38am and then went back to Lagos to get an extra N494,900,000 and landed at Akure at 5.57pm.”

“Obanikoro handed the money over to one Abiodun Agbele, otherwise known as Abbey, an associate of Fayose. Officials of Zenith Bank arrived at the tarmac in a bullion van to convey all the cash to the bank’s vault, located at 13 Alagbaka Estate, Akure.”

According to Punch, the detective who presented bank tellers alleged that Abbey instructed the bank to pay into Fayose’s Zenith Bank account at different times even after the election.

He added, “Abbey directed the bank to pay N137m into the account of Ayodele Fayose with number 1003126654 and Bank Verification Number 22338867502. The bank teller dated June 26, 2014, was filled by Abbey with teller number 0556814.”

“Abbey directed the bank to transfer N118,760,000 to the same account and paid in N50m cash into Fayose’s account.”

“On April 7, 2015, several months later, Fayose personally moved N300m to his fixed deposit account at Zenith Bank with number 9013074033 with the same BVN. The account is domiciled at 15 Olusola Abiona Street, Estate, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos.”

The source added that Fayose instructed Abbey to deposit N100m in the account of Spotless Investment Limited, a hotel owned by Fayose and his wife, Olayemi.

Abbey, who was identified as the owner of a firm, De Privateer Limited, allegedly paid N100m into the Zenith Bank account of Spotless Investment Limited with number 1010170969 on June 17, 2014.

He also reportedly paid N219,490,000 and N300m on June 18, 2014 and June 19, 2014 respectively into his own company account with Zenith Bank marked 1013835889 while he kept a cash sum of N260m from the original funds.

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