The N2.2bn fraud trial of the immediate past Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, resumed on Monday with his former ally and former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, testifying against him.

However, while being cross-examined by the second defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Obanikoro told the court that he was testifying against Fayose reluctantly, noting that they enjoyed a good relationship while they were both members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Obanikoro has since defected from the PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, while Fayose remains a member of the former ruling party.

In court on Monday, Obanikoro said despite testifying against Fayose, he wouldn’t want their relationship to be destroyed.

At a point in the course of being grilled by the defence counsel, Obanikoro burst out, “I’m trying to restrain myself from saying things that will further damage our relationship!”

But pushing him further, the defence counsel, Ojo, asked, “So, will it be correct to say that you are giving evidence in this case reluctantly?”

Answering, Obanikoro said, “It’s painful for me to give evidence against him (Fayose); no doubt about it. It is indeed very painful.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Fayose for allegedly taking N2.2bn from the office of the National Security Adviser to prosecute his governorship election in 2014.

The EFCC said Fayose received the N2.2bn from then NSA, Sambo Dasuki, through Obanikoro.


Mariam Olaitan

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