Ekweremadu Visits Obanikoro, Bala, Fani-Kayode At EFCC

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu yesterday paid a solidarity visit to officials of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who are being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged graft running into billions of Naira.

The men - Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Senator Bala Mohammed, Femi Fani-Kayode and Dr Reuben Abati, were taken into custody by EFCC at different times but were united in the cell.

Reuben Abati served as President Goodluck Jonathan’s Media Adviser, while Fani-Kayode worked towards the end of Jonathan’s tenure as Spokesman for his Presidential Campaign Organisation.

On the other hand, Obanikoro and Bala Mohammed served as Minister of State for Defence and Federal Capital Territory respectively and ended their tenure about two years ago.

They were hauled to the EFCC on allegations bordering on mismanagement of funds, particularly the $2.1billion cash for the purchase of arms to fight insurgency in the North East.

Obanikoro is linked with the N4.7billion allegedly traced to firms close to him and he has spoken out on how he paid the money out to Governor Ayo Fayose and former Osun Deputy Governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

On the other hand, Mohammed is alleged to have awarded contracts worth N8billion to fronts and also abused a major land swap deal valued at about N1trillion.

Fani-Kayode and Abati are linked with collecting funds from the ONSA for undisclosed reasons.

The EFCC confirmed last night that it has granted what it called ‘Administrative Bail” to Abati on conditions that he drops his International Passport and produces a surety of not below the rank of deputy director in the civil service.

The source hinted that since his arrival, Bala Mohammed had not given sufficient information as to the issues he is being accused of and that the commission needed more time to interact with him.

“We have obtained a new warrant to keep Bala Mohammed because we are not yet through with investigating the issues related to him,” the source hinted.

Ekweremadu told the men who were arrested for corruption to be of good cheer. 

He said: “I urge you all to be of good cheer and to keep your spirit high because what is happening to you today happened to our great leaders like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and other top Nigerians who stood for the good of the people of Nigeria.”