- Maroun Mechleb has admitted to giving false information to the EFCC about ownership of a property linked to former Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose
- The Lebanese contractor said one of Fayose's aides, Abiodun Agbele, instructed him to do so
- Fayose and Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in 2014
As the trial of Ayodele Fayose continues, Maroun Mechleb, a Lebanese contractor, has admitted to giving false information to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) about the ownership of a property linked to the former Ekiti state governor.
The contractor who testified as the 10th prosecution witness in the trial revealed this at the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, March 20.
According to him, he gave the false information on the instruction of Abiodun Agbele, one of the aides to the former governor.
Mechleb said he claimed ownership of the property in order to help Agbele, whom he described as a friend, Channels TV reports.
“Agbele asked for a company we can use to get a job. I gave the name (J.J. Technical Services) to Abiodun Agbele to help get a job for the company.
“Agbele bought a property and put it in the company’s name. He gave me the documents of the property to sign. I cannot read English properly, but I just signed the documents. It was later that I got to know that the documents were about a property and I had to contact Agbele.
“At the beginning, I didn’t know it was document of a property but I later got to know when the EFCC invited me and I had to contact Abiodun Agbele,” Mechleb said.
A summary of the case
According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti state, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then minister of state for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.
He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
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The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million to acquire a property in Abuja in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.
The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
Recall that Legit.ng had previously reported that a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, March 18, admitted in evidence an extrajudicial statement of a dead man, Justin Erukaa, in the trial of Fayose who is facing charges of N6.9 billion fraud.
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