Alleged Money Laundering: How Fayose, Aide Disbursed N1.2bn – Witness

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Clement Mgbolu, a compliance officer at Zenith Bank, told a Federal High Court in Lagos how Mr Abiodun Agbele, an adviser to former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, accepted N1.2 billion from Musiliu Obanikoro at Akure Airport.

While being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wahab Shittu, the witness told Justice Nnamdi Dimgba that after the money was flown to Akure by plane, Fayose’s aide, Agbele, was waiting on the tarmac with some Zenith Bank officials and a bullion van to take custody of it.

The witness testified that after Agbele took custody of the funds, totalling about N1,219,000,000, the money was moved to the Zenith Bank Branch in the state with the bullion van.

He said when they arrived at the bank, Agbele instructed that the money be distributed into three designated bank accounts – those of De-Privateer, (a corporate account linked to Agbele) Spotless Investment (a corporate account linked to Ayo Fayose) and to the account of Ayodele Fayose himself.

The banker also said the sum of 260m was taken to Ado Ekiti in cash.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olalekan Ojo, the witness was asked whether he was present when the transactions took place and he replied that he was relying on the records of the bank.

Ojo also asked the witness about who had custody of the funds when it was loaded into the bullion van at the Akure airport en route the Zenith bank branch and whether it could not be said that the funds were in the custody of the bank at the time. The witness replied that until money is taken to the bank and processed, the bank cannot be said to have custody.

Earlier in the proceedings, the court also took the evidence of the chartered pilot who flew the money from Lagos to Akure.

Justice Dimgba has adjourned further proceedings in the matter to May 24th for the testimony of another prosecution witness.