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Obanikoro explains how he gave Fayose $5m arms deal

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[FILE] Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday condoled with the former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, over the death of his mother, Alhaja Wosilat Obanikoro. April 22, 2016.

Nigeria’s former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Monday explained how he paid a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, five million dollars (about N1.8 billion) from public funds meant for purchase of arms.

At a Federal High Court in Lagos, during the trial of Fayose, Obanikoro gave evidence before the judge, Mojisola Olatoregun.

“On a Monday in June 2014, I received a call from Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose, when we were approaching the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, wanting to know if there is any message from National Security Adviser Col Sambo Dasuki but I replied no.

“But shortly after his call, a message came in from NSA saying certain amount of money will be received into the account that was opened to manage Boko Haram threat under my watch as minister of state for defence. NSA told me that Fayose will call me as to how he will receive the money.

“A total equivalent of $5 million from National Security Adviser impress account was given to Fayose by the order of NSA.”

He also said that Fayose introduced one “Biodun Agbele to me that he would be the one to receive the money for him which was done in Akure Airport because it was physical cash.”

“I had earlier wanted to transfer the dollars so that the Naira equivalent can be withdrawn in Ado Ekiti, which was the reason why I initially called Diamond Bank M.D but he replied that the bank does not have such capacity in Ado Ekiti for that huge amount of money.”

Fayose and his company, Spotless, are being prosecuted for alleged illegal diversion of funds of about N6.9 billion.

The monies are believed to have been meant for security tasks including funding the war against Boko Haram.

Obanikoro and Fayose were allies and members of the opposition PDP during the period of the transaction. The former minister has, however, since joined Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, and is now a prosecution witness.

Olatoregun, however, adjourned the case to February 4,5 and 6, 2019.

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