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    How we airlifted N1.219b to Ekiti for Fayose in two tranches — Fmr minister for state for defence, Obanikoro

    A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, told Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how the sum of N1.219 billion cash was airlifted to former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose for the governorship election in the state.

    Fayose is facing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his firm, Spotless Investment Limited, following their alleged involvement in N6.9 billion money laundering.

    When prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, SAN, asked him to shed light on the source of the said N1.219billion, Obanikoro replied that the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd), was the one who contacted him that the said money had been paid into the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd.

    According to EFCC, he said: “I was a minister under Jonathan administration in 2014. Sometime in 2014, we were going to have an election in Ekiti State. I was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the activities in the election.

    Some days before the election, I got a call from Governor Fayose asking me if I received any message for him from ONSA, I can recall that prior to that, we had some activities among which was fund raising for the purpose of that election.

    I had a phone conversation with the NSA, he told me that N2.2billion was paid into the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd. The money came from the NSA. I can’t vouch for the source of the funds. Only the NSA can explain the source of the fund.

    I handed over the N1.219million cash to Agbele for onward delivery to Fayose. I did not take any money or N19million, contrary to a publication by a Lagos-based online platform.

    The account was created to deal with the issue of Boko Haram in Lagos, the account was created by Taiwo Kareem and was used for the purpose of disbursing funds for election.

    Diamond Bank had said it did not have the capacity to make the funds available, so we opted to airlift the funds. The funds were airlifted from Lagos in two tranches, the volume was much.”

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