There was a mild drama in the on -going trial of former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose as an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Adewale Aladegbola Clement suddenly turned hostile during Friday’s proceeding.
The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) was forced to seek an adjournment when he discovered that his witness, who was a driver with Zenith Bank Plc, Ado-Ekiti, was giving oral evidence at variance to his written statement.
The action of the witness, who swore, “to speak the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth”, threw the lawyer into confusion.
Contrary to his written statement, the witness said he operated two bullion vans, but they were all down on the very day the charge sheet alleged a bullion van carried a huge amount of money to Fayose residence in Afao, Ekiti.
He also said he got to know about Afao Ekiti sometimes in 2014 through the head of cash payment section of the bank, who told him that there is something to be done in Afao and that when he asked him what that thing was, he said it was unofficial
The witness also said, “On April 16, 2015 the Zenith Bank bullion van was grounded and there was no operations.”
Realising what was happening and the damage it could cause to his case, Jacobs pleaded with the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun to adjourn further hearing to enable the prosecution regularise its position.
Justice Olatoregun reluctantly conceded adjournment, to the displeasure of defence team led by Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) who had vehemently opposed prosecution’s application for adjournment on grounds of the hostile attitude of the prosecution witness.
The EFCC had Arraigned Fayose before the court alongside his company, Spotless Limited on an 11 count charge of laundering the sum of N3.3 billion
The anti-graft agency had also accused Fayose in the charge of using the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of crime.
He was specifically accused of acquiring chalets three and four, six and nine of the property situate at Plot 100 Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos in the name of JJ Technical Service Limited.
Earlier, another witness from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aliyu Mohammed Mukadas, a senior manager and ex-head payment section told the court that on 15 June, 2014 a sum of N200million was paid into account of Silva Macmera through Diamond Bank account managed by the CBN.
He said the money was co-authorised by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sabo Dasuki and a director in the NSA, S. A. Salisu, who were the signatories to the account of NSA.
According to the witness, on June 15, 2014 another fund of N2 billion was paid into the account of Silva Macmera, showing a computer print-out which he said it was an impress account managed by the Secretary to government and NSA.
He testified that the payment was also authorised by Dasuki before the payment was effected.
Fayose was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in October 22, 2018 alongside a company Spotless Investment Ltd on 11 counts.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court had granted him bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his governorship election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Justice Olatoregun has fixed May 14 for further hearing of the matter.
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