Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, was on Thursday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State.
Fayose was arraigned alongside his company, Spotless Limited, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.
In the amended charge, Fayose and one of his associates, Abiodun Agbele, were alleged to have on June 17, 2014, taken possession of N1.219billion to fund Fayose’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State.
Meanwhile, Agbele is standing trial on alleged money laundering offences before another division of the court.
Both accused persons were accused of committing criminal breach of trust, theft and stealing of public funds.
The charge also stated that the duo, on the same June 17, 2014, without going through financial institutions, received the sum of $5million, from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who was the then Minister of state for Defence.
The EFCC accused Fayose to have on April 7, 2015, retained the sum of N300million, in his fixed deposit account number 9013074033, domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc.
Fayose and his company, Spotless Limited were also alleged to have, between June 17 and August 4, 2014, taken control of the sum of N317million, and deposited same in Zenith Bank Plc account number 1010170969.
It was also alleged that the former Ekiti State Governor, between, June 26 and August 27, 2014, took control of the sum of N305million, which formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, and in his Zenith Banks’ account number 1003126654.
He was also accused of procuring Agbele and a company, De-privateer Limited, to retain the sum of N719million in Zenith Bank’s account number, 1013835889.
The EFCC further accused Fayose to have used the sum of N270million and N1.1billion respectively to acquire properties at Plot 1504, Yedsema Street, Maitama, Abuja from one Rabi Kundili, and Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, at Plot 100, Tiyamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in the name of JJ Technical Services.
Fayose was also alleged to have between October 16 and December 31, 2018, failed to declare his assets and properties, by not completing the declaration form during the investigation.
The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 15(2)(d); 1 and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and punishable under section 15(3)(4); 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
He was also alleged to have acted contrary to section 27(1)(3)(c) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
Fayose denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the 11 counts of charges.
Before his re-arraignment, Joanne Tolulope, the 11th witness who was cross-examined by Fayose’s counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN) affirmed that her company, Still Earth Limited, only dealt with Abiodun Agbele the associate of former Ekiti State governor Peter Ayodele Fayose who is standing trial alongside his company Spotless Investment Ltd.
When asked if she was involved in the preparation of the Deed of Assignment in respect of the properties leading to the charge, she answered and said that her company engaged the service of external lawyer, Kolawole.
The witness when also probed by Olalekan Ojo (SAN) counsel to Fayose’s company, Spotless Limited, if all parties in the transaction leading to the trial were fictitious, said she could only vouch for her company, Still Earth Limited, which dealt with Abiodun Agbele.
After the cross-examination EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN informed the court that a new amended charge had been filed and he sought the court’s permission to re-arraign Fayose.
Meanwhile, Fayose’s trial continues on Friday before Justice Aneke, as the EFCC would be calling its 12th witness to testify against him.