An official of Zenith Bank, Akure Branch in Ondo State, Sunday Alade, yesterday, November 14, told a Federal High Court in Abuja how he and his colleagues in the bank took turn to count the sum of N1.22bn cash delivered to the aides of the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, by former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro in 2014.
Alade, who continued his testimony as the first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of an aide to Fayose, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, on money laundering charges, said the huge cash was in N1000 and N500 bills and also said the counting went on between 8am and 3pm for 10days..
Alade said under cross-examination by the defense counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), that his team evacuated the huge cash, allegedly airlifted to Akure airport twice by Obanikoro, before they began counting.
The witness said:
“It took us 10 whole days to count the money after we brought it from the Akure Airport. It took us from 8am to 3pm daily to count the money. Some time, the officials counting it would take time off.”
He said the total amount was N1,219,490,000.
Agbele is being prosecuted along with three companies – Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd., De Privateer and Spotless – on 11 counts of money laundering involving about N4,685,723,000,000 allegedly taken by former National Security Adviser from the account of the office of the NSA domicile in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Alade had also in his evidence-in-chief, identified documents, including account opening packages for the accounts of Fayose, Spotless Investment and Deprivateer and statements of transactions in the accounts.
The documents were later admitted by the court in evidence.
He told the court that Agbele gave directives on how the money was disbursed and went away with the cash balance of over N230m, which he (Agbele) allegedly took to Ado Ekiti (Ekiti State Capital).