While EFCC Tightens The Noose On Fayose Over N4.7bn Dasukigate | Independent Newspapers Limited
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While EFCC Tightens The Noose On Fayose Over N4.7bn Dasukigate

Posted: Jun 26, 2016 at 3:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Last week was a very eventful one in domestic and even international scene with serious immediate and future implications, beginning with the take-off of the new foreign exchange regime that saw the Naira oscillate first to around N286 and finally N281 to the US$, which pushed Nigeria’s stock market indicators to new highs.

On Thursday, by simple majority votes, Britons opted out of the European Union, news which sent shock waves to the global stock markets, all of which closed in the red, losing between four and over seven per cent, the biggest in a long while on Friday. Even the British Pound Sterling dropped to a 30-year low against the US$.

But mid-week in Nigeria had also been very eventful. Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose had raised the alarm that Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had placed a lid on his personal account with Zenith Bank Plc. The alarm of the EFCC freezing Fayose’s account had come few days after he had also cried aloud that the country’s secret service, the Department of State Security (DSS) had placed him under travel ban together with one other governor in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the South-south. Although Fayose did not mention any particular name, people general suspected that he might be referring to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

That EFCC or any agency of state would move to tighten the noose on Fayose was to most Nigeria not unexpected, given his near virulent opposition both to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. But the shock was that the EFCC could go for the bloke in the man perceived by many as a tough guy in spite of his high office in the land and the immunity conferred on his person by the constitution as governor of Ekiti State. This was the immediate concern that the EFCC action threw up, dividing Nigerians sharply on whether in law the anti-graft agency had acted rightly in freezing Fayose’s account. The EFCC had claimed that it had to freeze the account after it traced into it part of several billions slush fund from the office of former National Security Adviser (ONSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki to finance the campaigns of PDP for the 2015 elections. Colonel Dasuki (rtd) is currently under trial over his role in diverting funds meant to procure arms in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

However, Governor Fayose fouled the air the more in his own defence. The troubled governor claimed that his 2014 election was funded by Zenith Bank Plc, donation from friends and sale of campaign souvenirs, rather than through the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)

This followed reports that officials of the EFCC had traced about N4.745 billion of the diverted $2. 1 billion arms cash to Governor Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State (Defence).

The cash, sourced from the SAS Imprest Account of the ONSA under Col. Dasuki before the June 21, 2014 Ekiti State governorship election, which Fayose won, was allegedly laundered through Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, said to be owned by Obanikoro and his sons.

That was not all, as the governor took on Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, over the Halliburton scam, challenging her to visit the United States, if only to convince Nigerians that she was not the Aisha Buhari mentioned in the judgment, convicting William Jefferson.

For Fayose, “It is on record that the president has visited USA three times and his wife did not travel with him. Equally, she ought to have visited USA last year September to chair a United Nations programme but she sent wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki, to represent her.”

Quoting EFCC documents sighted on the Dasukigate investigations?, a national daily reported during the week that “On June 12, 2014, the sum of N1, 219, 490,000 was flown from Lagos to Akure Airport by Musiliu Obanikoro through a chartered plane (HS 125 jet) with a tail number N638MA. The plane belongs to Okin Travels which is a subsidiary of Elizade Motors. But the aircraft was then managed by OAS Helicopters for commercial/chartered service.

“The N1,219, 490,000 was in two consignments but flown in the same aircraft twice in the morning and in the evening. From FAAN records, the first cash of N724,500,000 arrived at Akure Airport at an estimated time of 9.38am and the second was at 17.57hours.

“A bullion van was brought by Zenith Bank to the tarmac at the airport in Akure to evacuate the cash to Zenith Bank at Plot 13, Alagbaka Estate, Akure.

“Obanikoro handed over the funds to Fayose’s associate, Abiodun Agbele (alias Abbey). This Abiodun in company with the bank officials moved the money to Zenith Bank in Akure.”

It’s A Lie

Short of denying ever knowing Obanikoro or Dasuki who has since relocated abroad, a statement by Idowu Adelusi, his Chief Press Secretary, Fayose said: “I have no financial transaction whatsoever with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, either by cash, cheque or electronic transfer.”

The EFCC, he said, is merely “acting a movie scripted, produced and directed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Muhammadu Buhari just to silence me, being a major opposition voice in the country.”

Continuing, the governor said: “The management of Zenith Bank, which majorly funded my election, called me to a meeting where I was assured that fund will be provided for my election. I was asked to nominate a trusted ally to be related with and I nominated Mr Abiodun Agbele.

“All the payments into Abiodun Agbele’s account domiciled in Zenith Bank were directly from Zenith Bank. In actual fact, the account was opened by Zenith Bank hurriedly at that time and Abiodun Agbele’s identity card which ought to have been collected before the account was opened was only collected last week in the bank’s desperation to perfect the account obviously after submitting to the intimidation and harassment of the EFCC.

“Most of the funds posted into Agbele’s account were through the Ibadan, Akure and Lagos branches of the Zenith Bank and sometimes they brought cash.

“Assuming but not conceding that cash moved from Lagos to Akure as being claimed by the EFCC in its usual manner of media trial, was meant for my election in Ekiti, why was the cash not moved to Ado Ekiti branch of Zenith Bank or the cash handed to me directly? Why was it deposited into Zenith Bank, Akure and did the bank make any report on the transaction to the appropriate authorities?

“I must say it categorically that I don’t have any link financially with Obanikoro and I know as a fact that he (Obanikoro) has not; and cannot mention my name, as beneficiary of whatever money any company in which he has interest could have gotten from the ONSA if truly Obanikoro collected money from the ONSA as being claimed by the EFCC.

“Therefore, bringing Obanikoro and his son’s narrative or that the Zenith Bank is telling different stories, having been blackmailed and coerced into submission by the EFCC is a joke that will not fly.

“I wish to state further that if it becomes evidently clear that those who willingly provided money for my election can no longer stand by what they did, may be because of threat from the EFCC, I will not hesitate to name names.”

The Zenith Bank has denied Fayose’s allegation. The bank explained that as a commercial entity, it could not have funded the campaigns and election of the Ekiti State governor with depositors’ fund, accusing the governor of rather playing to the gallery, because the bank cooperated with the EFCC. The bank’s management said it only handed over money from the ONSA.

A New Twist

A new twist was added to the drama, when pictures showing officials of the bank who visited Fayose’s office begging went viral on social media after being released by the Government House.

Contrary to that claim, the bank officials were said to have paid a Business Advisory Visits (BAV) to the governor after learning of his instruction that the state’s Accountant General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance should move Ekiti government account from the bank based on the disagreement over the EFCC saga.

The visit, it was further learnt, was to intimate the governor of the consequence of such action as the state is heavily indebted to Zenith, following a loan he obtained from the bank, backed by an irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).

Providing a background to the latest twist in the tale and the picture that went viral on social media, Oyesile Odunayo, an Ekiti indigene explained in his reaction to a Facebook post: “The man kneeling down in the picture below is Bunmi Falana, a.k.a Bumshaka. Bumshaka is one of the Ayo Fayose’s boys together with Goke Olatunji (G.O.K) Fayose’s P.A in the past. Goke and Bunmi were together with Ayo Fayose during the 2003 Governorship struggle against Otunba Niyi Adebayo the then incumbent Governor.

“When Fayose emerged as the Executive Governor of the State, he appointed Goke as Personal Assistant, while Bunmi (Bumshaka) was said to inform Fayose that he preferred a career job, hence he was fixed with Zenith Bank via the capacity of Ayo Fayose, and for his banking purposes.

“He was brought in to handle all his banking transactions till 2006 when Mr. Fayose was chased out of Ekiti State Government House following his impeachment. After this regrettable rein of Mr. Fayose in 2006, Bunmi Falana (Bumshaka) was transferred by Zenith Bank to Ogun State until 2014 when he was expectedly transferred back to Ekiti at the commencement of the June 21, 2014 Governorship Election Campaigns in the State as requested by Gov. Fayose.

“This transfer request and the promotion of Bunmi as the Branch Manager are part of the conditions Gov. Fayose gave Zenith Bank before he could have confidence in any transaction with the Bank. About the ongoing drama titled: ‘Ayo Fayose’s Election fund by Zenith Bank,’ Fayose strongly felt disappointed in his boy (Bumshaka) which the said boy realized and resolved to beg his boss who (was instrumental to his attaining his) present status in the bank…”


Reactions have expectedly greeted the revelations on the Social media as Nigerians wonder why there is seeming distraction from the fact of the case.

According to Ajayi Temitope Carter, even if the bank staff knelt down to beg Fayose, “how does it change the material facts? Will the kneeling down defreeze or unfreeze his accounts. Zenith Bank funded his election that is the story he wants us to accept. After funding his election, the bank also put N1.2 billion pocket money into his accounts?”

Also reacting on social media, Adeola Fayehun, wonders why journalists did not ask Fayose whether he collected money from Dasuki or not, just another insists that the allegations against the bank should not detract from the fraud probe of the embattled governor.

While the EFCC continues its investigations of Fayose for his role in the Dasuki stolen funds, it is instructive to note that the commission has so far not moved against any official of the bank.