A prosecution witness, Johnson Abidakun, a former Head of Operations, Zenith Bank Plc, Ado-Ekiti branch, in the ongoing N2.2bn fraud trial of a former governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, has told Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how the sum of N200m cash was moved from Fayose’s residence for lodgment in an account in the bank sometime in April 2016.
Fayose is standing trial alongside his company, Spotless Investment Limited, on an 11-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2.2bn.
The matter started before Justice Olatoregun, but was subsequently re-assigned to Justice Aneke.
At the resumed sitting on March 5, 2020, Abidakun told the court that his duty was to oversee three units, namely: Funds Transfer; Cash and Teller, and Customer Service.
Led in evidence by Adebisi Adeniyi, one of the prosecuting team members for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abidakun told the court that he received a call on April 16, 2016 from his Zonal Head, Dr. Abiodun Oshode, instructing him to move the sum of N200m cash from Fayose’s residence to the bank.
Testifying further, he said: “I immediately called upon the cash officer to arrange for policemen.
“The policemen arrived after 30 minutes.
“We arranged for their payment and called it police money.
“We also arranged for the cash driver and the cash mover.
“So, they set out for the assignment.
“After about one hour, they came back with the money and the money was counted and ascertained to be N199.5m as against N200m.
“While detailed counting of the money was going on, Mr. Abiodun Agbele came in with one other man, Mr. Taofeek.
“I know Mr. Abiodun Agbele to be close to the governor, but I don’t know his position.
“He gave instructions that the money should be credited into the account of Still Earth Nigeria Limited and that the depositor was Mr. Taofeek.
“At the point of posting, I discovered that the deposit slip was filled by my subordinate, Oputu Okeimute.
“I asked him why he filled the deposit slip and he said the depositor could not read or write.
“After that, the money was credited into the account of Still Earth.”
Abidakun, under cross-examination by counsel to the defendant, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, affirmed that he did not personally go to Fayose’s house, adding that he delegated one Adewale Aladegbola to lead the team.
According to him, “When they came back, they didn’t tell me that they first met the governor (Fayose).
The matter was adjourned until March 6, 2020 for further hearing.