The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday intensified investigation into the N1.35billion property scandal against Governor Ayodele Fayose by grilling his associate, Abiodun Agbele, and three more people connected with the deal.
The quizzing of the affected professionals, including a businesswoman, an accountant and an estate consultant, lasted more than eight hours.
But some emissaries from the embattled governor have pleaded with the companies involved in the purchase of four duplexes in Lagos to tell the EFCC that the money wired into their accounts was a loan.
According to investigation, the EFCC invited the three professionals for a tell-all session and to either corroborate or respond to Agbele’s revelations to its investigating team.
A top source said: “You are already aware that Agbele has been in detention in the past two weeks. He has made some confessions, but we need to invite those he wired money into their accounts.
“So, we have invited a businesswoman, an accountant and an estate consultant. We had an interactive session with these professionals for about eight hours. It took time because it was a ‘tell-all’ session.
“We have retrieved all relevant bank statements on how Agbele used the account of his company, De-Privateer, to pay for the four duplexes on Tiamiyu Savage Street on Victoria Island.
“The said properties were no doubt acquired by Agbele on behalf of Fayose. As a matter of fact, the governor was actively involved in the negotiation of the properties going by call logs.”
As at 6.32pm, the questioning of Agbele and others was still in progress.
Meanwhile, attempts to cover up for the governor have failed following botched overtures by Fayose’s emissaries to companies which purchased the duplexes.
Another source added: “These emissaries persuaded the companies to lie to the EFCC that the N1.35billion was a refund of the loan given to Fayose’s associate. But the affected firms refused to buy into the script of the governor’s emissaries.
“Instead, the companies released the details of the transactions in line with their commitment to business fidelity.
“The companies said they cannot go to the EFCC with fairy tales of a loan facility in order to obstruct investigation. The emissaries, who felt disappointed, also threatened to deal with the owners of these companies.”
The payment for the duplexes was wired into three accounts as follows: FCMB belonging to Siqnachor (0519693019), First Bank of Nigeria (1000070240) and Zenith Bank (1014016919) of Still Earth Limited.
The breakdown of some of the remittances reads: First Bank—N40m (29/1/15); N39.5m (30/1/15); N132.5 (30/1/ 15); N3.2m (4/2/15); N980, 000(4/2/15); N200m (17/2/15); N47m (13/2/15); and N50m (13/2/15).
The lodgments in an account in Zenith Bank (1014016919) included N42.5m (9/4/15); N25m (23/4/15); and N229m (6/3/15).
Agbele, also through De-Privateer, paid N200million into the account of Siqnachor Integrated Limited in FCMB (0519693019) on March 9, 2015.