Details of Wednesday’s court proceeding
A Seventh Prosecution Witness, in the case between the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kennedy Osunwa, has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he was engaged to prepare a Deed of Assignment with respect to a property lying at 100, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Fayose is standing trial on allegations bordering on fraud.
Fayose, had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
Just yesterday, both the fifth Prosecution Witness, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, and the sixth witness, Omotayo Falae, concluded their evidences before the court.
Osunwa was led in evidence by the Prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, who asked him to tell the court what he knows about the case.
Osunwa narrated, ”Sometime in 2014/2015, a company that I had retainership with as a tenant solicitor, (Still Earth Ltd), called me and said they had acquired some properties lying at 100, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island
“And that they have concluded arrangement to sell some because they have a buyer and the particulars of the buyer were given to me to prepare a Deed of Assignment.
“I was told that one Abiodun Agbele with a company, J. J Technical, are buying the property,”
The witness said that the necessary particulars, as well as the consideration for the property which he was to insert in the agreement, were supplied to him and he prepared the Deed.
He said that at completion, he informed the officers of the company that the Deed was ready for execution and they instructed him to bring the agreement to the company as the said Agbele would be coming to take same.
The witness told the court that the agreement was sent as requested and after some days he was called by the officers of the company that same had been executed and he was shown a copy of the Deed that was acknowledged by Agbele’s lawyer, one Mr Kolade.
He said that in 2016, he was invited by the EFCC to come with all the officers of his company as well as with all the Deeds of Assignment he prepared with respect to the property at Victoria Island.
The witness said that after he received the invite, he immediately travelled to Abuja with all the requirements, adding that he submitted all document to the Commission.
Laying a foundation for tendering of the document, the prosecutor asked the witness “If you see the document will you recognise it” and the witness replied “Yes”
The document was tendered without objections from defence, it was admitted by the court and marked exhibit M to M5.
Jacobs asked the witness to look at the exhibits and tell the court how much he was asked to put as consideration for the property.
The witness replied that for exhibit M2 he was asked to put the sum of 1.1 million dollars as consideration; for exhibit M3 he was asked to put 1.17 million dollars, for exhibit M4, he was asked to put N40 million and for exhibit M5 also same cost of N40 million.
According to the witness, the price stated in the agreement was the price he was asked to put down by the Assignee.
Under cross examination by defence counsel Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the witness said that when invited by the EFCC, he was directed to tell them what he knows about the Deed.
When Ojo asked the witness, “Did you tell them any lie, ” he replied, “to the best of my knowledge, No”
Ojo then suggested to the witness “So, it is possible that you unintentionally lied in your statement, ” and the witness replied “I cannot say that.”
When asked if at any point after making his statement, he returned to the EFCC to say he forgot to put in any fact, the witness replied “I can’t remember”
Ojo: “Are you telling this court that you cannot remember whether you went to the EFCC to say I forgot to say this or that,” and the witness replied “I remember I made statement to the EFCC but I cannot remember whether I made additional statement.”
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama in the courtroom when the witness made assertions before the court alleging intimidation by counsel.
He had first said “Sir, you know you are my senior at the Bar, ” and subsequently the witness again said (referring to Ojo) “The way you are looking at me I am intimidated and I seek the protection of the Court,”
The judge urged parties to make progress, adding that her court was concerned with law and justice, and would only continue to uphold what is lawful and just.
Ojo then asked the witness if the parties had informed him that the price he was putting down as the consideration for the property was false, and the witness replied No.
The witness added that he only got to know about it at the EFCC.
Ojo again asked the witness if after learning about the falsehood, he had made any additional statement to the EFCC stating that fact, and the witness replied “I did not”
Ojo added, “My lord, with due respect that will be all for this witness.”