Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki, former Minister of State (Defence) Musiliu Obanikoro and Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose removed ₦4,685,723,000 from the account of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) between April 4 and November 13, 2014, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alleged.
This is contained in some documents filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, where Fayose’s associate Abiodun Agbele, was arraigned yesterday by the EFCC for alleged diversion of the fund.
Agbele was arraigned along with three companies – Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, De privateer Ltd, and Spotless Investment Ltd – on an 11-count charge of money laundering.
He pleaded not guilty, following which his lawyer Mike Ozekhome (SAN) moved a motion for his bail.
But EFCC counsel Johnson Ojogbane objected to the request, arguing that Agbele would run away if granted bail and also interfere with prosecution witnesses.
The EFCC said its investigation into alleged dissipation of public funds and abuse of office by Dasuki led to the discovery of the Dasuki, Obanikoro, Fayose conspiracy to
“fraudulently remove” the ₦4.685 billion from the ONSA account.
The cash, it claimed, was transferred to a company, Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, with account number 0026223714 with Diamond Bank Plc.
In a counter-affidavit deposed to against Agbele’s bail request, EFCC alleged: “Upon the receipt of the proceeds of crime, Obanikoro (the then Minister of Defence for State) fraudulently conveyed the sum of N1,219,490,000 to Akure for the use of Mr. Fayose. On the 17th and 18th of June 2014, one Mr. Alade Oluseye (official of Zenith Bank, Akure branch) in company of the defendant/applicant (Abiodun Agbele, a front of Mr. Fayose) went to the Akure Airport and took delivery of the said sum from Mr. Obanikoro and others.
“On the 18th June 2014 the appellant, Agbele, received an instruction from Mr. Fayose to collect the money and he thereafter made cash deposit in the sum of N219,490,000 to De Privateer Ltd account No:1013835889 domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc. Agbele is the operator and sole signatory of the Zenith Bank Plc account No:1013835889 belonging to De Privateer Ltd.
“On the 19th of June 2014 the defendant/applicant also made cash deposit in the sum of N300,000,000 being proceeds from the N1,219,490,000 into the said De privateer Ltd account. On the 23rd the defendant/applicant deposited the sum of N200,000,000 into Zenith Bank account No: 1003126654 in the name of Ayodele Fayose.
“The defendant/applicant, in further dissipating the funds, being proceeds of the crime, carried out various transactions including payments to Spotless Investment Ltd, Still Earth Ltd, etc on the instruction and for the benefit of Mr. Fayose.”
In the counter-affidavit deposed to by Detective Samson Oloje, the EFCC described Agbele as “a flight risk” who has “perfected plans to flee the country before he was arrested.
“The applicant in conjunction with Obanikoro (now at large) colluded to move and aid the escape of Olalekan Ogunseye, a principal suspect in this case, out of Nigeria and if released on bail, he will also flee from jurisdiction.
“The defendant/applicant, prior to his arrest, was still in contact with the said Olalekan and plans have also been concluded to get the defendant out of the country by Musiliu Obanikoro and his principal, Fayose, the Governor of Ekiti State.”
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba will today rule on the bail application. He ordered that Agbele be remanded in Kuje prison pending the ruling.
In count one of the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/154/2016, Agbele is accused of conspiring with Obanikoro (now at large), Sylvan Mcnamara ltd, A. O. Adewale (now at large), Tunde Oshinowo (now at large) and Olalekan Ogunseye (now at large), while being sole signatory to the Zenith Bank account of Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, between April 4 and November 13, 2014 “to commit illegal act to wit: laundering the sum of N4,685,723,000,000 being sum transferred from the ONSa account with Central Bank of Nigeria by Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
He was, in count two, alleged to have worked with Obanikoro, and Dr. Tunde Oshinowo (now at large) “on or about 17th of June 2015 to directly take possession or control of the sum of N1,219,000,000 being part of the N4,685,723,000,000” allegedly removed from the ONSA account with CBN..
Agbele was in count three, accused of paying N100milion into a Zenith Bank account No: 1010170969 belonging to Spotles Investment Ltd around June 17, 2015. He was, in count five said to have around June 18, 2014 “did retain the sum of N219,490,000 in Zenith Bank account number 1013835889 belonging to De Privateer Ltd (while he was the company’s Managing Director).
Agbele was accused, in count eight, of transferring, on or about 26th June 2014, N137million “into the account of Fayose domiciled in Zenith Bank, Akure branch with account number: 1003126654,” when he ought to have reasonably known that the funds formed part of the proceeds of “unlawful activity of Dasuki and Obanikoro to wit: Criminal breach of trust and fraud.”
The defendant was further accused, in count 11 of converting about N263million to personal use while he was the Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) around June 17, 2015.