A witness, Akin Apanisile, on Friday revealed how Governor Ayo Fayose distributed money to his loyalists on September 25, 2014 after the State High Complex was attacked in a bid to prevent the hearing of his election eligibility case.
He made the revelation while being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Ahmed Tafa, before the presiding judge, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye.
Apanisile testified as Prosecution Witness 5 (PW 5) in the murder case instituted by the state government against seven persons accused of complicity in the murder of former state chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Omolafe Aderiye.
The defendants in the case are Adebayo Aderiye a.k.a. Ojugo (1st) Adeniyi Adedipe a.k.a. Apase (2nd), Sola Durodola (3rd), Kayode Ajayi (4th), Oso Farotimi a.ka. Oso Polo (5th), Sola Adenijo a.k.a. Solar (6th) and Rotimi Olanbiwonnu a.k.a. Mentilo (7th).
Aderiye, a loyalist of Fayose, was murdered on the same day (September 25, 2014), some hours after people suspected to be political thugs attacked the court, beat up a judge, Justice John Adeyeye.
Apanisile (22) told the court that Fayose (who was then governor-elect) gave money to those who followed him to the court on the day of the incident at Spotless Hotel owned by him (Fayose).
The witness revealed that Fayose handed the money to the late Omolafe to distribute to the boys who followed him to the court on that fateful day.
Apanisile claimed that the late ex-NURTW boss did not give money to the followers of the 1st accused person (Ojugo), who was the Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) at the time which, he said caused a rift among the duo.
Fayose distributed money to us after 2014 court attack – Witness tells court
The witness said: “We went to Spotless Hotel and at the hotel, Fayose gave the late Omolafe money to distribute to those who went to the court but Omolafe did not give the boys of Ojugo money and Ojugo was angry and said he (Omolafe) did not owe him (Ojugo) more than seven bullets.”
Under cross-examination from counsel to 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, Mr. Biodun Fasakin, Apanisile said: “We followed Fayose to the court on September 25, 2014 and on that day, I rode on my bike. There was a big crowd of people cheering Fayose on that day.”
Under cross-examination from counsel to 5th and 7th defendants, Mr. Lekan Olatawura, Apanisile admitted that he was among who wielded canes on the day of the attack on court. Apanisile added that none of the accused persons in the dock shot Aderiye on the day he was killed.
Apanisile had earlier told the court that the late Omolafe adopted him after he lost his parents claiming that his father died in 2008 while his mother died in 2015 but had earlier told the court that he met Omolafe in 2014.
He had earlier told the court that the 6th defendant (Adenijo), alongside other defendants stormed the late Omolafe’s private park a white Hilux van on the day the deceased was killed in 2014 but in another breath said he knew Adenijo in 2015.
Under cross-examination from counsel to the 6th defendant, Chief Anthony Adeniyi, Apanisile was given a sheet of paper to append his signature with his signature tendered and admitted as Exhibit 19.
The witness’ statement volunteered to the Police was earlier tendered by the prosecution counsel and was admitted and marked Exhibit 18.
While adjourning the case to next Wednesday, July 19, Justice Ogunmoye stressed that the prosecution should be ready to close its case on the next adjourned date for the defendants to open their defence.