The Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, has expressed disappointment that Zenith Bank Plc and other private donors to his campaign “can no longer stand by what they did, may be because of threat from the EFCC”. He said this while reacting to allegations by the EFCC that he benefited from arms funds said to have been distributed by former National Security Adviser under Sambo Dasuki.
The EFCC, in justifying its restriction on the account of the governor, said it had traced funds from the office of the NSA to the accounts of Mr. Fayose and, Musiliu Obanikoro, who is a former Minister of State for Defence.
The commission said the funds, amounting to about N4.7billion, was moved from accounts operated by two of Mr. Obanikoro’s sons where it was transferred to Mr. Fayose’s Zenith Bank account.
“I wish to state further that if it becomes evidently clear that those who willingly provided money for my election can no longer stand by what they did, may be because of threat from the EFCC, I will not hesitate to name names”
“The management of Zenith Bank, which majorly 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.
“Assuming but not conceding that cash moved from Lagos to Akure as being claimed by the EFCC in its usual manner of media trial, was it meant for my election in Ekiti, why was the cash not moved to Ado Ekiti branch of Zenith Bank or the cash handed to me directly? Why was it deposited into Zenith Bank, Akure and did the bank make any report on the transaction to the appropriate authorities? Why did the bank send its bullion van to move the money from Akure Airport to their Akure branch if it was illegal money?
“I must say it categorically that I don’t have any link financially with Obanikoro and I know as a fact that he (Obanikoro) has not; and cannot mention my name, as beneficiary of whatever money any company in which he has interest could have gotten from the ONSA if truly Obanikoro collected money from the ONSA as being claimed by the EFCC.
“Therefore, bringing Obanikoro and his son’s narrative or that the Zenith Bank is telling different stories, having been blackmailed and coerced into submission by the EFCC is a joke that will not fly.”