The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has made a breakthrough in the alleged corruption case against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and his associate, Mr. Abiodun Agbele.
Agbele, who is currently in EFCC custody, was said to have received N1.219bn from a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, on behalf of Fayose during the build-up to the Ekiti governorship election in June 2014.
However, EFCC detectives alleged that Fayose used a large portion of the N1.219bn along with some money from the Ekiti State coffers to buy houses in Lagos and Abuja, which have since been seized by the anti-graft agency.
An investigator told our correspondent that Fayose used Agbele to buy the houses in a way that would make the source of the money look legitimate.
He explained that the two houses in Abuja were bought with bank loans from Skye Bank and Zenith Bank on the surface. However, the stolen money was used in offsetting the bank loans.
The detective said, “From the Dasuki funds, they had about N300m stashed in one account. However, when they were going to buy the N270m property located on Yedseram Street, they did not use the N300m from the stolen funds. Rather, they obtained a loan of N120m in the name of Spotless Hotel from Zenith Bank to deposit for the house.
“They then took about N150m out of the Dasuki money to pay the balance on the house and then used the same Dasuki funds to offset the loan. They went through all this stress to cover their tracks and make it look as if it was a bank loan they used in buying the property.
“Why did they take a loan that would be gathering interest when they had more than enough money to buy the house?”
The investigator said when it was time to buy the four duplexes in Lagos, Fayose and Agbele allegedly overpaid the seller of the houses and then told the seller to use the balance which was N200m, to pay for another house in Abuja.
The source said, “The worth of the four duplexes in Lagos is N1.1bn, which was sold by Still Earth Nigeria Ltd. However, Fayose and Agbele paid Still Earth N1.3bn in cash and then told the company to transfer the balance of N200m to Skye Bank. It was that N200m that was used in purchasing the building at 44 Osun River Crescent, Abuja. This was done so that no one would be able to trace the fund to them.”
Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency has also traced about N60m to an account belonging to Agbele.
The account titled, BYKD Consultant Limited, which is domiciled in Diamond Bank, received some funds from Ekiti State local governments under the heading, Millennium Development Goals.
A copy of the statement of account sighted by our correspondent showed that on February 18, 2015, about N18, 159, 050 was paid into the account. On the same day, about N15, 319, 650 was paid into the same account while about N11, 238, 500 was deposited into the account on the same day among other transactions.
The transaction history showed that Agbele paid about N40m and N15m into the account of Affordable Motors.
“This is a new discovery and we want to know why such funds would be released by local governments because so far there is no evidence of any contract between the local government and Agbele,” the source said.