A former manager of a Zenith Bank branch in Akure, Ondo state, Sunday Alade, told the federal high court in Lagos on Wednesday that it took 10 days to count the N1.2 billion which was moved to the bank’s branch on behalf of Ayodele Fayose, for governor of Ekiti state.
While being led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Alade narrated how the money was evacuated from two aircraft and taken in two trips in a bullion van which he arranged in 2014.
“On 17th June 2014, I received a phone call from Lawrence Akande through Abiodun Oshode, who was my Zonal Head that a customer of the bank will be coming to make a cash deposit in Akure. I was told that the customer would be coming by a flight to Akure Airport,” he said.
“After some hours, Abiodun Oshode came to my office to inform me that the said customer was in his office. I then followed him to his office where he introduced one, Biodun Agbele, to me as the bank customer. I was later instructed to prepare the cash movement team (bullion van and security) to pick the cash from the Airport.
“When the aircraft arrived, three individuals disembarked from it, two of them walked away while the third person walked to Abiodun Agbele. After a short interaction, we were left to offload the cash from the aircraft.
“One Adewale O who introduced himself as the orderly to Senator Obanikoro led us to offload the cash. When we got to the branch, we bundle-counted the cash and it was about N744m.
“We were told there was a balance and we went back to the airport to pick the second batch from the aircraft into our bullion van. The second tranche was about N494m, making a total of N1.2bn. The money was detail-counted by the Cash and Teller Unit for 10 days before it was credited into three different accounts.”
Another prosecution witness, Aliu Mohammed, a senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), told the court how N2.2bn was transferred from the operational account of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser(NSA), to the account of a firm, Sylva Mcmanara.
However, under cross-examination by Ola Olanipekun, Fayose’s lawyer, Mohammed admitted that he did not see the former governor’s name in any of the documents used to process the payments into Sylva Mcnamara account.
The judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, adjourned the matter till Friday, October 25 for continuation.
Fayose is being prosecuted by the EFCC over charges of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N6.9bn.