According to the latest reports, the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has confessed knowing a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, who transferred N1.299 billion slush funds to him in a chartered jet at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
Fayose confessed at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where he has been in detention for the past 72 hours. He also acknowledged knowing all about the alleged N4.685 billion withdrawn from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
He also said he has links with Abiodun Agbele, who allegedly bought six choice properties for him in Lagos and Abuja but the governor created a little ruckus when he wrote the EFCC demanding for an additional mattress in his cell.
“He has demanded for a second mattress from the anti-graft agency and I think they are looking into his request. They want to find out from him the type of mattress needed to make him comfortable in custody,” a source said.
He said sleeping on two mattresses will be more comfortable for him. The EFCC pledged to redress the issue.
Fayose’s confession comes as a surprise to many observers since the ex-governor vowed not to speak to the EFCC on the matter, claiming his innocence.
A source in the EFCC said, “The $5, 377,000 was handed over in cash by Obanikoro to Fayose while the N1.299billion was received by Agbele on Fayose’s behalf in the presence of the ex-minister’s Aide-de-Camp who also accompanied them to the bank.
“From the $5million, Fayose gave his Personal Assistant Agbele about $1million which he exchanged to Naira and paid for properties on behalf of the governor.
“These assets include four in Lagos (N1.1billion) and two in Abuja worth about N500million to N700million.
“The properties, worth N1.8billion, were purchased with the said proceeds of crime”.
Meanwhile, the ex-governor has demanded to be taken to court by the anti-graft agency in order for the issue to be resolved.
The source continued, “Fayose will still undergo another round of grilling on Friday. We cannot just arraign him in court without obtaining a statement from him.
“By Friday, he has to explain the following: Did Obanikoro hand over cash to him and Agbele? What was the N1.299b meant for? Did Agbele buy properties for him? How did his associate acquire the six properties for him?
“So far, Fayose remains in custody till he is able to respond to issues isolated for him”.
Fayose’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, said efforts had begun to secure his release from EFCC custody.
Ozekhome told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja he is doing everything within his power to get the ex-governor released in order to protect his fundamental human rights.
He said, “Yes, we will go to court to enforce his fundamental human rights. The EFCC has no right to keep him for over 24 hours.
“If they have done that by obtaining a Magistrate Court’s Order that will be in the form of “holding charge” which has been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court. Holding charge is illegal. It is unconstitutional”.
Ozekhome said that the section of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) permitting a magistrate to detain a suspect for 14 days was illegal.
According to him, any action outside the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution, which specifically provides for 24 hours, is illegal and unconstitutional.