Obanikoro concludes testimony against Fayose

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A fifth prosecution witness, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro ,in the ongoing trial of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, over alleged fraud and money laundering, has concluded his testimony before the Federal High Court, Lagos

Obanikoro who gave the evidence in continuation of his cross-examination by second defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), revealed that he was informed about two years ago, that his late Special Assistant (SA) Justin Erukaa, died in an accident.

Fayose was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Oct. 22, 2018, alongside a company Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts.

But the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the court had granted him bail in the sum of N50million with one surety in like sum.

Senator Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, was called as a fifth prosecution witness to testified against Fayose on January 21, 2018.

At a last adjourned date on February 5, Obanikoro was still under cross-examination by second defence counsel, (Ojo), who had sought to tender the extrajudicial statement of Justin Erukaa, made to EFCC in the course of their investigation into the case

In reaction, the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), objected to the admissibility of the said statement, on the grounds that counsel was seeking to tender the document from the bar, with which he wanted to contradict the witness from the bar.

Citing the provisions of Section 232 and 233 of the Evidence Act, he argued that the approach was wrong.

However, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, admitted the extrajudicial statement of the late Erukaa and marked the same as Exhibit J.

When the trial resumed on Tuesday, second defence counsel  Ojo, continued cross-examination of Obanikoro who has been in the witness box since January.

Under cross-examination, Obanikoro told the court that his aide Eruka left Lagos a day before Sallah about two years ago, “and the police called one of my special assistants with the decease’s phone informing him that the owner of the phone just had an accident and died on the spot; and I was immediately called and informed.”

The prosecution called its sixth witness, Mr Olugboyega Falae, a staff of Ecobank, who said he had worked in Skye bank, (now Polaris), as Head of Estate Support Department.

On what he knows about the property known as No. 44, Plot 1241, Osun Crescent Maitama, Abuja, the witness told the court that one of the responsibilities of his unit was to dispose of non-core assets of the bank, that are excess to requirement.

He said that the property was one of such assets, which was sold at that time, after acquiring requisite approvals.

He said that in the case of the said property, one Mrs Titiloye approached the bank with a N300 million offer for the property, adding that there were discussions and exchange of letters between them before the property was eventually sold for N200 million.

After the witness finished his evidence before the court, he was cross-examined by defence counsel, but there was no re-examination from prosecution.

The court has adjourned until Wednesday for the continuation of trial.

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