By Innocent Anaba
Lagos—A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, admitted in evidence a statement made by one late Mr Justin Erukaa, who worked as Personal Assistant to Mr Musiliu Obanikoro, before his death.
In a short ruling, trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun admitted Erukaa’s statement and marked it as Exhibit J in the ongoing trial of former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose over an alleged N2.2 billion fraud.
The second defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, SAN, had at the previous hearing tendered the statement, which Erukaa made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the course of investigating the alleged N2.2 billion fraud against Fayose.
Ojo said Erukaa’s statement was relevant to the case, adding that it could be admitted in the absence of the deceased.
After the judge admitted Erukaa’s statement in evidence, the case proceeded with further cross-examination of Obanikoro, who is the fifth witness to testify for the EFCC against Fayose.
Fielding questions from Mr Ahmed Tafa, who stood in for Ojo, Obanikoro reiterated that he was into farming, with his farms in Lagos, Badagry and Ogun State.
He also confirmed knowing a company, MOB Integrated Limited.
Asked by Tafa if he knew that staff members of MOB Integrated Limited were signatories to the bank account of Fayose’s co-accused, Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd, Obanikoro said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
He explained again that then NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd), entered into an agreement with Taiwo Kareem, who owns Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd, to use the firm’s account for the disbursement of funds for security operations in Lagos.
Obanikoro said after the agreement with Kareem, he took over Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd’s account in supervisory capacity, adding that all the major decisions taken on the account were cleared with him.
“There were three transactions. One was for the security of Lagos; one for election in Ekiti and for election in Osun State,” he said.
When Tafa asked if “matters of elections were matters of security,” Obanikoro said, “They can be.”
Asked if the Office of the National Security Adviser funded his campaign while he was vying for governorship on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Obanikoro said, “Not to my knowledge.”
He said he had no records of his transactions with the NSA.
He, however, said he would not be surprised if the record of the NSA showed no N2.2 billion transaction.
Trial judge, Justice Olatoregun adjourned further proceedings till today for continuation of cross examination.