Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, has admitted to giving the sum of N2.3bn to the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, in the run-up to the Ekiti State governorship election in 2014.
Obanikoro, while being interrogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for N4.745billion, said he personally handed the sum of $5.37million in cash to Fayose, while the sum of N1.3bn was given to Fayose’s aide, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, on the instruction of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, (retd.).
A source close to the matter quoted Obanikoro as saying that:
“N2.2billion was transferred to Sylva Mcnamara for onward transfer to Mr. Ayodele Fayose on the instruction of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
“The sum of N1.3billion cash was brought in a bullion van by Diamond Bank on the instruction of the NSA.
“In addition, the sum of N60million was converted to dollars at the rate of N168 per dollar and altogether the sum of $5,377,000 was handed over in cash by me to Mr. Fayose while the N1.3billion was received by Mr. Fayose’s associate, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, in the presence of my Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Lt. Adewale, who also accompanied them to the bank along with the bank officials.
“I didn’t interact with the bank officials. I called Fayose before the funds were handed over to Mr. Abiodun Agbele. I spoke to Fayose with my phone at Akure airport.”
The source said the ex-defence minister, however, denied ownership of Sylvan Mcnamara, the company that received N4.685bn from the ONSA between April 4, 2014 and November 13, 2014.
The anti-graft agency had alleged that Obanikoro’s sons, Babajide and Gbolahan, were directors in Sylvan Mcnamara as of the time the money was paid into the company’s account.