Former Minister of state For Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, yesterday, told the Federal High Court, Lagos, that he was testifying against forner governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, reluctantly.
Fayose is standing trial over allegations of laundering N3.3 billion.
The former governor also told the court that, contrary to reports, none of his properties was ever seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Fayose claimed that reports that some of his assets were seized and later returned to him were false.
Obanikoro, while being cross-examined by Fayose’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), maintained that there was no way any of his properties could have been seized because he acquired them before the investigation into the case began in 2016.
He said, “I acquired my house in Banana Island in Lagos when I was a commissioner for Home Affairs and the one in Abuja was bought in 2012,” he said.
Also, while being cross-examined by Olalekan Ojo, counsel to Spotless Limited, the second defendant in the case, Obanikoro told the court that it was very painful for him to testify against Fayose, who he described as his friend.
The witness claimed that he was testifying against Fayose reluctantly, since they enjoyed a good relationship while they were both members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
When the defence lawyer tried to get Obanikoro to reveal details of what happened between him and Fayose before the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti state, the former minister said: “I am trying to restrain myself from saying things that will further damage our relationship,” adding, “Despite testifying against him, I wouldn’t want our relationship to be destroyed, It’s painful for me to give evidence against him (Fayose ); no doubt about it. It is indeed very painful.”
The former minister also told Justice Olatoregun that he was detained by the EFCC for 21 day during the the commission’s investigation into funds disbursed through the office of the National Security Adviser.
When Agabi asked him, “you were yourself a suspect and were being investigated when you made your statement to the EFCC?”
The witness replied in the affirmative.
Agabi then asked, “you made your statement in defence of yourself, “ and the witness answered: “I gave evidence of what transpired. I was stating the truth and nothing but the truth.”