A former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Dr. Tope Aluko has admitted he witnessed former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro give Governor Ayodele Fayose $5.377 million cash.
Obanikoro is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving N4.745 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Sambo Dasuki, which he was said to have disbursed to PDP Chieftains and Governors to fund the 2015 elections.
The money is believed to be part of the controversial $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms for the military, but allegedly diverted by Dasuki on the orders of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
During the grilling of Obanikoro by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he had mentioned that out of the money, he gave Governor Ayodele Fayose $5.377 million cash in the presence of PDP elders, including Aluko.
It was gathered that when the EFCC was interrogating Aluko, who had since fallen out with Fayose, he revealed that Obanikoro brought out a large suitcase from a green military trunk, which contained the cash he gave Fayose.
Aluko reportedly named 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.
The N4.685 billion was reportedly transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited out of which N60 million ($5.377m) cash was personally given to Fayose by the ex-minister.
Aluko was quoted to have told the EFCC investigators that: "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.”
It was reported that Aluko and Obanikoro had a face-off before the interrogators.
A source privy to the matter was quoted as saying: "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 said Sylva McNamara, which was incorporated in November 2011, was used for the slush funds from ONSA.