The N2.2bn fraud trial of former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose progressed on Wednesday with the prosecution fielding four additional witnesses.
Among the four witnesses were three Lebanese – Goshen Joseph; Joseph Mechleb and Maroun Mechleb – who are working in Nigeria as building and construction engineers.
Mechleb, who was fielded as PW10, is the Chief Executive Officer of a construction firm, Samchase Nigeria Limited, which is based in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Mechleb told the court that he had done various jobs for both the Federal Government and some states, including Ekiti State.
He said he did jobs for Ekiti State in 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2016 when Fayose was governor of the state.
Mechleb told the court that the jobs he did for Ekiti State were facilitated by Abiodun Agbele – an aide to Fayose.
He said there was an agreement that he would “appreciate” Agbele for every contract he facilitated for Samchase Nigeria Limited.
Mechleb said though the “appreciation” was not specified, it was usually about 10 per cent of the contract sum.
The Lebanese, who told the court that he could neither write nor read English language, said the scope of the contracts was usually communicated verbally, saying, “We agreed that when he got jobs for me, I will appreciate him.
“We did not specify but it’s around 10 per cent.”
Mechleb told the court that he once lied to the EFCC about owning a property on Agbele’s instructions.
He said he falsely claimed ownership of the property in order to help Agbele, whom he described as a friend.
The Lebanese had been asked by Jacobs if he knew of a company, JJ Technical Services Limited, to which he replied that the firm belongs to his younger brother and brother-in-law, Maroun Mechleb and Joseph Mechleb, respectively.
He said his brother once approached him to help get some jobs for JJ Technical Services Limited, because since the company was incorporated in 2007, it never got any job.