It’s unfortunate, painful and I’m very sad that I’m the one testifying against my friend,” former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikor said Monday, February 4, 2019, in court while being cross-examined to testify against his former alleged accomplice immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose in the N2.2bn fraud trial.
Obanikoro who is now in the ruling All Progressive Congress was in court and cross-examined by the second defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN) before testifying against Fayose, one of the critics of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Fayose is a PDP man. He’s renowned for making damaging and highly inflammatory statements against the person of the president and also famous for disrespecting the office of the president.
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.
In court on Monday, Obanikoro said despite testifying against Fayose, he would love both of them to still be in a good relationship.
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.
Dasuki is still in jail despite several court rulings that he should be set free. Fighting corruption is one of the cardinal campaign promises of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking reelection come February 16 Presidential Election.
Political watchers are saying his campaign against corruption is on the high speed a few days to the crucial election, where another northern presidential candidate is powerfully challenging his chances of winning massively at the polls.