Sunday, 17 November, 2019

We Begged Fayose To Patronise Us, Says Zenith Bank’s Staff


Lawrence Akande, a banker with Zenith Bank Plc., has told the Federal High Court that the financial institution sought the patronage of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.

Akande said this on Monday at the Federal High Court in Lagos while giving testimony in the ongoing criminal trial of the former governor.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had accused Fayose of offences bothering on money laundering.

Akande had earlier appeared before former trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

But following a petition written by the EFCC alleging bias against the judge, the matter was re-assigned to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke with the implication that all witnesses, who had testified before the previous judge would have to testify afresh.

Thirteen witnesses listed by the anti-graft agency had initially testified before the previous judge.

They included officials from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

In his testimony before Justice Aneke, Akande told the court that as “a person of high network”, his bank sought patronage from Fayose.

He admitted that Fayose maintained three accounts with the bank namely: Spotless Investment, De Privateer, and a personal account domiciled in Lagos.

The witness also mentioned that sometime in June 2014, he received a call from Mr Fayose informing him that there will be a business transaction in Akure, which he passed on to the Akure Zonal Head of the branch to handle.

The banker then denied direct knowledge of the transaction including lodgements, payments or deposits.

After listening to the testimony, Justice Aneke then adjourned the trial till Tuesday, October 22.

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