Former minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has implicated controversial Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose in the N4.745 billion probe in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The N4.745 billion was wired to Sylva Mcnamara, a company which has been linked to Obanikoro within seven months in 2014 by the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
He said he is not the owner of the Sylva McNamara that was used to transferred money to Fayose.
Obanikoro who is being detained by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has disclosed to the anti-graft commission that he transferred a sum of N2.23billion to Fayose out of the money.
He said he handed Fayose $5,377,000 in cash and N1.3billion was received by the governor’s associate, Mr. Abiodun Agbele.
The former minister admitted that the N1.3billion was flown to Akure airport in two chartered flights for delivery to Agbele.
The money was sourced from the $2.1billion meant for arms purchase at the ONSA.
A source 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.”
On how the cash was transferred to Fayose, the source said Obanikoro told investigators that “two flights were used to convey the money from Lagos”.
The ex-minister said he “took off with the first flight with part of the money. The second flight brought the remaining funds to Akure airport and I directed that it should be handed over to the same person,” he was quoted as saying.
According to EFCC, when it was time to draw the N4.745billion from ONSA as a war chest for the Ekiti governorship poll, ex-Minister Obanikoro made the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited available and coordinated the disbursement.
The breakdown of the disbursement is as follows:
- N N759, 384, 300 changed into dollars through Bureau de change;
- N160million used to purchase cars through Balmoral International Limited;
- N1, 219, 490,000 ferried by Obanikoro in two flights to Akure and received by Fayose’s associate, Abiodun; and
- balance of about N2billion withdrawn by Obanikoro and his two children in cash.