Story By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Bureau De Change operator, Mr. Jamilu Uba, has narrated before the Federal High Court Lagos, how Abiodun Agbele, an aide to former Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, used woman’s name to pay the total sum of N135 million into his company’s account, Kofa Micer Investment Limited’s in 2015 in exchange for dollars.
Jamilu made this known while being led-in-evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), at the continued trial of Mr
Fayose, who is currently standing trial before the court presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on Tuesday
Fayose alongside his company, Spotless Investment Limited, are standing trial before the court on charges bordering on alleged conspiracy, breach of trust, theft and money laundering.
He is also accused of receiving $5 million from a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
The offences according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) contravened sections 15(1), 16(d) and 18(c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
Mr Fayose was granted bail on October 24, 2018 after pleading not guilty to the charge when he was first arraigned before the court.
At the resumed trial of the defendants on Tuesday, Jamilu who was the 10 witness to testify in the matter while being led by Mr. Jacobs (SAN) said: “sometimes in 2015, my bank called me that EFCC had blocked my account, later, I was called by the Abuja office of EFCC, where I was asked about how N135 million from Depravateer Nigeria Limited came into Kofa Micer Investment Limited account.
“I was asked asked about the payee. As at that time, I don’t know who paid the money, when I got back to the office I was told that one Mr. Agbele who earlier told me that he is Mrs. Ibi, it was later I know him as Mr. Agbele.
When asked what he used the money (N135 million) for, the witness said: “the money was used in buying dollars to the tune of $680, 000 USD from me.
When further asked of what happened on August 20, 2015, Jamilu responded and said: “another N47 million; N40 million and N14 million was paid into his account. Also Mr. Abiodun Agbele gave me N1 million USD and as at that time I paid him a total of N208 million equivalent to N1 million.
During cross examination by counsel to Fayose, Mr. Ola Olanipekun (SAN), the witness said he remembered telling EFCC that ‘its Mrs. Ibi that sold the dollars to me and that Mrs. Ibi sell and buy dollars to me”.
“I told the EFCC that Mrs. Ibi gave the account of the Depravateer Nigeria Limited. I also told EFCC that Mrs. Ibi gave me the phone number”.
When asked if he can confused Mrs. Ibi for any any other name? He replied and said: “I can’t confused Mrs. Ibi’s with another person. I didn’t mention Agbele’s name in my first statement dated to the EFCC”.
Jamilu however told the court that he came to know that Mrs. Ibi that have been speaking with him was Mr. Abiodun Agbele, through a truecaller.
He also told the court that he did not give his record book to the EFCC and that there was no transaction with the first defendant (Fayose).
Jamilu while being cross examined by the counsel to Fayose’s company, Spotless Investment Limited, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), told the court that his company, Kofa Nicer Investment Limited, was licensed to carry out Bureau De Change (BDC) business. Adding that his company is not a BDC outfit.
The witness also told the court that he can not mistaken Abiodun Agbele, Mrs. Ibi and Depravateer for each other, as they are different names. Adding that during his interrogation at the EFCC, he did not meet Abiodun Agbele.
Another witness, Mr. Imisi Ilesanmi, a former Relationship Manager with Zenith Bank Plc, in his evidence told the court how the sum of N132. 5 million, on January 30, 2015, was transfered from the account of a company, Samcheles Nigeria Limited, to a company account with First Bank .
During cross examination by Mr. Olanipekun and Ojo, both (SAN), the witness told the court that he did not come across any transaction involving Mr. Fayose and that there was no instruction from Samcheles Nigeria Limited involving him.
He also told the court that he did not come across any transaction between Shamcheles’ and Spotless Investment Limited. Adding that there was no inflows from Ekiti State government to Samcheles account before 2006.
Meanwhile, further hearing to the matter has been adjourned till December 4, 2020.