Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, told the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday that he was forced to return between N100m and N200m to the Federal Government.
Senator Obanikoro mentioned this court testimony as the 12th prosecution witness in the trial of Mr. Ayodele Fayose, an ex-governor of Ekiti State, and his company, Spotless Investment Limited, who are standing trial for an alleged N2.2bn fraud.
Fayose was accused by the EFCC of taking N1.2bn from a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to prosecute his Governorship election. The defendants were also accused to have received $5m from Obanikoro on June 17, 2014, and without going through financial institutions.
Fayose had also denied the allegations.
However, Obanikoro earlier testified before the court how he sent the cash in an aircraft and had it delivered to Fayose in Ekiti State. He also told Justice Chukwujeku Aneke that N1.2bn was deposited into the account of a company, Sylva McNamara, which was used to fund clandestine security operations aimed at preventing terrorists’ activities in Lagos State in two batches.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, while being cross-examined by the counsel for the second defendant, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, (SAN), Obanikoro told the court that during the investigation of the case, he was invited by the EFCC, interrogated and coerced into refunding N100m or N200m.
He told the court too that after several investigations, the EFCC excluded him of any crime.
He added to his statement in court: “I was made to refund between N100m and N200m to the Federal Government under duress.”