The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has frozen five bank accounts traced to a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and the two sons of a former Minister of State of Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
The EFCC, it was learnt, froze the accounts as part of investigations into the N4.7bn diverted from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of the former NSA, Lt. Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
The accounts frozen by the anti-graft agency include Sylvan McNamara (number 0026223714 with Diamond Bank); Sawanara Limited with First Bank; Fimex Gilt Limited with the United Bank for Africa; and Metropolitan Consortium with First Bank.
The PUNCH had reported last week that Sylvan McNamara, a company at which Obanikoro’s two sons- Gbolahan and Babajide – were directors, received N4.7bn from the ONSA in 2014.
About N1.3bn was said to have been transferred to Omisore.
A detective at the anti-graft agency explained, “On July 9, 2014, N150m was paid into the account of Sawanara with First Bank. On August 1, 2014, N300m was paid to Sawanara Limited.
“On August 8, 2014, about N160m was paid into the account of Fimex Gilt Limited domiciled with UBA. On the day of the election, August 9, 2014, N350m was paid into the First Bank account of Metropolitan Consortium. All the accounts were linked to Omisore ahead of the August 2014 governorship election in Osun State.”
Omisore, who has since been declared wanted by the anti-graft agency, allegedly received the funds in four tranches from Sylvan McNamara between July and August 2014, a few weeks before the Osun State governorship election which he lost.
A document detailing the transaction showed that the money was paid into three company accounts allegedly belonging to Omisore.
The former deputy governor had, however, denied any wrongdoing and had since sued the EFCC for defamation.
Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency has launched a manhunt for Abiodun Agbele, an associate of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.
According to the EFCC, Agbele received N1, 219,490,000 from Obanikoro on behalf of Fayose.
The money was said to have been flown to the Akure Airport and then conveyed to Zenith Bank.
According to five Zenith Bank deposit slips made available to our correspondent, Agbele made deposits of over N900m into his personal accounts and that of Fayose.
On June 26, 2014, Agbele made a deposit of N137m into a Zenith Bank account with account number 1003126654 belonging to Ayodele Fayose with teller number 0556814.
On June 17, 2014, Agbele also made a deposit of N100m into account number 1010170969 belonging to Spotless Investment Limited, a company owned by Fayose and his wife, Feyisetan.
On June 18, 2014, Agbele made another deposit of N219,490,000 into the account of De Privateer Limited with account number 1013835889. The company allegedly belongs to Agbele. On June 19, 2014, he also made a deposit of N300m into the same account while a third deposit of N200m was made into the same account on June 23, 2014.
The EFCC said, “Agbele is an associate of Fayose. We are currently looking for him because he has a lot of explanations to make. He held some of the money in trust for Fayose.”
In his reaction, Fayose admitted that Agbele was a trusted friend who paid money into his account. He, however, maintained that the money came from the management of Zenith Bank and private donations.
He said, “The management of Zenith Bank, which mainly funded my election, called me to a meeting where I was assured that the fund would be provided for my election. I was asked to nominate a trusted ally to be related with and I nominated Mr. Abiodun Agbele.
“All the payments into Abiodun Agbele’s account domiciled in Zenith Bank were directly from Zenith Bank. In actual fact, the account was opened by Zenith Bank hurriedly at that time and Abiodun Agbele’s identity card, which ought to have been collected before the account was opened, was only collected last week in the bank’s desperation to perfect the account obviously after submitting to the intimidation and harassment of the EFCC.
“Most of the funds posted into Agbele’s account were through the Ibadan, Akure and Lagos branches of the Zenith Bank and, sometimes, they brought cash.”
Agbele’s account with Zenith Bank has since been frozen by the EFCC as well as those of Fayose and his company.