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N30.8bn fraud: Fayose pleads not guilty

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…remanded in EFCC custody

After being in custody for five days, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday appeared before a Federal High Court, Lagos, charged with N30.8 billion fraud.

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his company — Spotless Investment Ltd — on an 11-count charge of N30.8 billion fraud.

He, however, pleaded innocence of the offences.

After the arraignment of the accused, the defence counsel, Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN), who is a former Attorney General of the Federation, informed the court of a motion on notice for the bail of the accused.

He told the court that same had been served on the prosecution.

In response, the EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, confirmed service of the bail application, but told the court that he required time to reply.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, consequently, adjourned the case until Oct. 24 for the hearing of the bail application.

Meanwhile, following a plea by defence counsel on the temporary remand of Fayose, the court ordered that he be remanded in custody of the EFCC pending bail.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election in Ekiti State which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N18 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his Zenith Bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their Zenith Bank and the FCMB accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the accused was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million to acquire a property in Abuja in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

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