I was investigated for being privy to illicit transfer of funds — Obanikoro admits


A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, on Tuesday admitted before a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court that he was investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for being privy to illicit transfer of funds.
Obanikoro made the statement while giving evidence in the criminal trial of the immediate-past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, facing charges of an alleged N6.9billion fraud.
Fayose was arraigned by the EFCC on October 22, 2018, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the court had granted him bail in the sum of N50 million, with one surety in like sum.
His trial had commenced on November 19, 2018, with the EFCC calling four witnesses, while the court had then adjourned for the continuation of trial.
On Tuesday, Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, appeared for the EFCC, while Messrs Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) represented the first and second defendants respectively.
Obanikoro, the fifth prosecution witness, who began his evidence on January 21, and was cross-examined on February 4, mounted the witness box in continuation of his cross-examination.
Under cross-examination by the second defendant’s counsel, Ojo, Obanikoro told the court that during his tenure as a Commissioner in Lagos in charge of Home Affairs and Culture, he had interfaced with various security agencies in the discharge of his duties.
According to him, he had sourced for a security outfit known as Sylva Mcnamara, owned by one Kareem Taiwo, to the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), when the need arose to provide for security operations in Lagos State.
He said the outfit performed credibly and did a good job. On who gave instructions to Diamond Bank for the release of N1.2 billion, Obanikoro replied that “I was the only person that gave instructions to the bank”.
Subsequently, Ojo sought to tender an extrajudicial statement made by the then special assistant to Mr Obanikoro, Justin Erukaa, but the prosecutor raised an objection.
Following the objection by the prosecution, Mojisola Olatoregun, the judge, adjourned the case until February 6 for counsel to address the court on the admissibility of an extrajudicial statement.

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