Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State says Zenith Bank Plc and other private donors funded his 2014 governorship campaign.
He, therefore, stated that linking him with embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki (retd.) was nonsensical.
Fayose said this in a statement on Wednesday while reacting to an allegation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that N1, 219, 490,000 was flown to Akure Airport on June 12, 2014 to Fayose by a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
The money was alleged to have emanated from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser and was eventually paid into Fayose’s account by one Abiodun Agbele, an associate of the governor.
The N1,219,490,000 was subsequently conveyed by a Zenith Bank bullion van to the Zenith Bank branch in Alagbaka Estate, Akure.
However, Fayose in a statement by his media aide, Lere Olayinka, said the EFCC were grasping at straws.
The governor also alleged that Zenith Bank officials were already being intimidated by the EFCC.
He said, “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.”
The governor called on the EFCC to look into the campaign funding of the All progressives Congress rather than fight a one-sided anti-corruption war.
Fayose also alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife was a person of interest in the United States due to her alleged role in the Haliburton scandal. -The Nation