A former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Dr. Tope Aluko, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of how a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, handed over $5.377m cash to Governor Ayo Fayose.
He said the cash, which was put in a green military trunk by the ex-minister, was given to Fayose in the presence of nine PDP elders.
He listed those who witnessed the collection by Fayose as a former Secretary to the State Government, a senator, two members of the House of Assembly, a former Director-General and others.
Aluko, it was learnt, had one-and-a half hours hostile encounter with Obanikoro.
Upon receiving the large suit case (box) and a key to open it, he said, Fayose and Obanikoro retired into an inner room of Spotless Hotel for a brief discussion.
Aluko made the revelation during a grilling by the EFCC team against the backdrop of the ongoing probe of how the ex-minister shared the N4.745billion wired to a company linked to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The N4.685billon was transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited out of which N60million ($5.377m) cash was personally given to Fayose by the ex-minister.
Obanikoro however told the EFCC team that he gave Fayose the cash in the presence of PDP elders including Dr. Tope Aluko.
According to a source, Aluko told the detectives: “The ex-minister brought the $5.377million cash to Spotless Hotel for Fayose in a green military trunk. He was accompanied by four military men.
“Obanikoro handed over the trunk and a key to Fayose in the presence of nine eminent PDP elders in the state.
“Holding a piece of paper, Obanikoro later entered into an inner room in the hotel for a brief discussion with Fayose. Maybe the paper was for Fayose to acknowledge the receipt of the cash.
“Upon coming out, Fayose opened the trunk with the key and we all saw it was filled with dollars. We had a list of how we wanted to use the money but we had not expended the Naira cash at hand.
“Fayose, who asked me to call other PDP leaders, later took the trunk to his room at the hotel for safe keeping. That was the last we heard about the cash.”
Another source in EFCC claimed that Aluko and Obanikoro had about “one-and-a half hours of unfriendly encounter” before interrogators.
The source said: “Both Obanikoro and Aluko were brought to the interrogation room by EFCC detectives. They asked if Aluko had ever met the ex-minister, the ex-PDP Secretary in Ekiti State said: ‘Obanikoro was the liaison personnel between the Presidency and Fayose.
“He confirmed that he had met with the ex-minister at a meeting in Abuja before the delivery of the money.
“Aluko also admitted that he was present when Obanikoro brought the over $5.377m cash to Governor Ayo Fayose.”
The EFCC had uncovered how Sylva McNamara, which was incorporated in November 2011, was used for the slush funds from ONSA.