SaharaReporters has obtained a damning copy of the counter-affidavit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Ado-Ekiti in connection with the freezing of his account with Zenith Bank.
Last week, the judge refused to grant an order to unfreeze the account. Instead, he summoned the commission and Zenith Bank, which holds the account, to appear before him on July 4 to explain why the governor’s account of the Governor was frozen.
The EFCC counter-affidavit submitted to the court forced Gov. Fayose’s lawyers to ask for a quick adjournment in the case, and the judge adjourned the case until September 30.
EFCC lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo had informed the court that his clients had filed a counter affidavit, with nine exhibits. Our sources say that when Mike Ozekhome, who is the governor’s lawyer, saw the contents of the affidavit, he was left in shock.
The affidavit details how former Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro, who is currently hiding in Atlanta, USA, conspired with the currently-detained former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, to steal and divert the sum of N4.7billion of public funds to fund the rigging of Governor Fayose’s election in 2014. Obanikoro’s son, Jide, used his company, Sylvan McNamara Ltd to facilitate the stealing.
Among others, the counter-affidavit also details the movement of cash through Akure airport, including the registration number of the private jet used in the illegal transaction.
The document also exposes how, in addition to fraudulently retaining the sum of N1.2 billion stolen from the treasury of the Federal Government through the office of the NSA, Gov. Fayose has since assuming office in 2014 been stealing state funds and collecting kickbacks from contractors doing business with his government, which he invests in buying property in Lagos and Abuja.
The EFCC named some of the companies from which he has received such gratifications as Samchese Nigeria Limited, Tender Branch Concept Nig. Ltd, Hoff Concept Ltd, Calibre Consulting Ltd, Still Earth Ltd and Signachorr Nigeria Ltd.
Fayose, it further deposed, instructed Still Earth Ltd and Signachoor Nigeria Ltd to use the funds to acquire properties for him, which they did in the name of J.J. TECHNICAL SERVICES LTD, a company which belongs to the governor and his wife.
In addition, Fayose also used the name of one Mrs. Moji Ladeji, his sister, to acquire a property at No 44 Osun Crescent in Maitama, Abuja, from the proceeds of the alleged offences of receiving gratification and kickbacks.
Our correspondent said that outside the courtroom today, a number of protesters waved placards in support of the EFCC action against Governor Fayose.
Text of the counter-affidavit:
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA
IN THE EKITI JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT EKITI
SUIT NO: FHC/AD/CS/27/2016
MR. AYODELE FAYOSE
(GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE)…………………………. APPLICANT
THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION }
ZENITH BANK PLC } RESPONDENTS
THE 1ST RESPONDENT COUNTER AFFIDAVIT IN OPPOSITION TO THE APPLICANT’S ORIGINATING SUMMONS DATED THE 23RD DAY OF JUNE, 2016.
I, Tosin Owobo, Male, Christian, Nigerian and an Investigating Officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 15A, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos do solemnly and sincerely make oath and state as follows:
That I am one of the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission assigned to investigate this ma.
That I have the consent and authority of the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to depose to this counter affidavit in opposition to this originating summons.
That by virtue of my position as one of the Investigating Officer assigned to investigate this matter; I am well conversant with the fact of this case, having derived my knowledge of same in the course of my investigations.
That contrary to the paragraphs 5-16 of the Applicant’s Affidavit in support of the Originating Summons, I know as a fact that the 1st Respondent received an oral damning intelligence report showing that the 2ndRespondent herein was in custody and in fact had in its possession the sum of N1, 299,490,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Ninety Nine Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) being proceeds of economic and financial crimes.
That upon the receipt of this intelligence, the Commission analysed it and found same to be worthy of investigation.
That so far our investigation has revealed as follows:
That between the 5th and 17th day of June, 2014 the former state Minister of Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, in grand conspiracy with the Applicant and the former National Security Adviser Col. M.S Dasuki (RTD) fraudulently removed the sum of N2,260,000,000.00 (Two Billion, Two Hundred and Sixty Million Naira) from the account of the office of National Security Adviser which sum was fraudulently transferred to a company known as SYLVAN MCNAMARA LTD with account No. 0026223714 domiciled with Diamond Bank Plc. Attached and marked Exhibit EFCC 01 is copy of the mandate of the account belonging to SYLVAN MCNAMARA LTD and the extract of inflows from the Office of the National Security Adviser to the said account.
That the principal signatory to this account is one Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro, the son of the said former State Minister of Defence Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.
That on the receipt of these proceeds of crime, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, fraudulently conveyed the sum of N1,219,490,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) to Akure to the use of the Applicant.
That before the conveyance of the funds to Akure Airport Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, one Mr. Alade Oluseye a staff of the 2nd Respondent was informed by his colleague in the bank, Lawrence Akande, that a particular customer of the 2nd Respondent will be bringing cash to the Akure Airport for lodgment and that since the volume of the cash is quite heavy, there will be a need for the said Alade Oluseye to use the 2nd Respondent’s Bullion Van to convey the cash.
That on the 17th day of June, 2014 Mr. Alade Oluseye in the company of one Biodun Agbele a front of the Applicant, went to the Akure Airport wherein they took cash delivery of the sum of N724,500,000.00 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and his acclaimed Aid de camp Lieutenant Colonel A.O Adewale.
That on the 18th day of June, 2014 another sum of N494, 990,000 was also delivered to Mr. Alade Oluseye by the said Minister in the same man.
That the total sum of N 1, 219,490,000 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) was conveyed to Akure Air port by Senator Obanikoro through a chattered aircraft with Registration No: HS125-800 5N-BMT belonging to GYRO AIR LTD.
That on the 19th day of June,2014, after Mr. Alade Oluseye took delivery of the money being the proceeds of crime, Mr. Biodun Agbele the front of the Applicant, received an instruction from the Applicant to collect the money and made cash deposit in the sum of N219,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Nineteen Million Naira) to De-privateer Ltd account No. 1013835889 domiciled with the Zenith Bank Plc. Attached and Marked exhibit EFCC 02 is a copy of the statement of account of DE- Privateer Ltd domiciled with the 2nd Respondent.
That on the same day the said Biodun Agbele made another cash deposit in the sum of N300,000,000.00 (Three Hundred Million Naira) being part of the proceeds of crimes to the said De- privateer Ltd’s with the 2nd Respondent.
That on the 23rd June, 2014 the sum of N200, 000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) being part of these proceeds of crime, was also deposited to the said De-Privateer Ltd’s account domiciled with the Respondent by Biodun Agbele whilst acting in concert with the Applicant.
That on the 26th day of June,2014 the said Biodun Agbele on the instruction of Applicant further dissipated the proceeds of crime by depositing the sum of N137,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Thirty Seven Million Naira) to account No. 1003126654 domiciled with the 2nd Respondent in the name of the Applicant. Attached and marked exhibit EFCC 03 is a statement of account of the said account domiciled with the Respondent.
That on the 22nd and 27th day of August, 2014 Biodun Agbele also deposited the sum of N50, 000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) and N118, 760,000.00 (One Hundred and Eighteen Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira) respectively to the said account which sum formed part of the proceeds of crime.
That in further dissipating the proceeds of crime deposited and retained in the account referred to in paragraphs (d) and (g) above, the sum of N300,000,000.00 (Three Hundred Million Naira) was put in a fixed deposit account No. 9013074033 in the name of the Applicant on the 7th day of April,2015. Attached and marked as exhibit EFCC 04 is a copy of the statement of the said account.
That this N300, 000,000.00 (Three Hundred Million Naira) is still in the account.
That on the 17th day of June, 2014 the same Biodun Agbele made another cash deposit in the sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) being part of this proceeds of crime to a company known as Spotless Investment Ltd with account No. 1010170969 domiciled with the 2nd Respondent. Attached and marked as exhibit EFCC 05 is a copy of the statement of account of the said spotless investment Ltd.
That on the 23rd day of June, 2014 the sum of N 49,000,000.00 (Forty Nine Million Naira) being part of the proceeds of crime was also deposited to the said Spotless Investment Ltd Account with the Respondent.
That there is still a balance of N89, 454,765.00 (Eighty Nine Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty Five Naira) in this account being part of the proceeds of the crime.
That the said Abiodun Agbele whilst acting in concert with Alade Oluseye of the 2nd Respondent and the Applicant, after fraudulently receiving the sum of N1, 219,490,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) from Senator Obanikoro also fraudulently retained cash in the sum of N263, 000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Sixty Three Million Naira) on the instruction of the Applicant.
That we have interviewed Mr. Alade Oluseye Sunday and his colleague Lawrence Akande and have informed us in writing about how these transactions were conducted. Attached and marked exhibit EFCC 06 and 07 are copies of their statements.
That apart from fraudulently retaining the sum of N1, 219,490,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira) being part of the N4, 745,000,000.00 (Four billion, Seven Hundred and Forty Five Million Naira) stolen from the treasury of the Federal Government through the office of the National security Adviser, the Applicant has also received gratification in form of kick back from various contractors with the Ekiti State Government such as Samchese Nigeria Ltd, Tender Branch Concept Nig. Ltd, Hoff Concept Ltd, Calibre Consulting Ltd.
That the Applicant received these kick backs and gratification through Still Earth Ltd and Signachorr Nigeria Ltd.
That in turn the Applicant instructed the Still Earth Ltd and Signachoor Nigeria ltd to use the funds to acquire properties for him.
That in complying with the Applicant’s instruction, Still Earth Ltd and Signachoor Nigeria ltd acquired properties on behalf of the Applicant in the name of company known as J.J. TECHNICAL SERVICES LTD belonging to the Applicant and his wife. Attached and marked Exhibit EFCC 08 are copies of the deeds of assignment for the said properties.
That the Applicant also used the name of one Mrs. Moji ladeji (the Applicant’s sister) to acquire a property situate at No.44, Osun Crescent Maitama Abuja from the proceeds of the alleged offences of receiving gratification and kick.
That the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the exercise of his statutory mandate contained in section 34 of the EFCC Act having satisfied himself that the various sums of money in the account No. 1003126654, 9013074033, 1010170969 and 1013835888 domiciled with the 2nd Respondent were made through the commission of the an economic and financial crimes to wit: stealing and receiving gratification approached the Federal High Court Lagos Judicial Division, for an order directing the Manager of the 2nd Respondent to freeze the said accounts.
That in his wisdom, Hon. Justice M.B Idris granted the 1st Respondent’s application wherein an order of interim attachment was made on the aforementioned accounts. Attached and marked exhibit EFCC 09 is a certified true copy of the said order.
That the said order was a preservative order to prevent further dissipation of proceeds of crimes.
That I was informed by Rotimi Oyedepo Iseoluwa of counsel in our office, 15A, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Lagos at about 8:40 PM on the 2nd day of July,2016 and I verily believe him as follows:
That the 1st Respondent is statutorily empowered to investigate all economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.
That it is within the statutory powers of the 1st Respondent to preserve exhibits and proceeds of economic and financial crimes during investigation for possible prosecution.
That the 1st Respondent has statutory power to investigate the Applicant.
That the 1st Respondent has not encountered the Applicant by instituting any proceeding against him.
That the Applicant cannot use this Honourable Court as a shield against criminal investigation.
That that the order of interim attachment was neither directed at nor instituted against the Applicant.
That whilst the Applicant enjoins immunity against civil and criminal proceeding being a serving governor, proceeds of an economic and financial crimes allegedly committed by the Applicant do not enjoy such privilege
That the 1st Respondent has the power to direct the 2nd Respondent to place a stop order on any account if it discovered in the course of its duties that such accounts are suspected to be involved in any crimes.
That the Applicant will not be prejudiced should this application be dismissed.
That it will serve the course of justice to refuse this originating summons.