Obanikoro Spends First Night In EFCC Cell, Faced With Facts

A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, was on Monday grilled for several hours by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and confronted with evidence by detectives.

Obanikoro, who had remained in the United States of America since mid-2015, went straight to the Abuja office of the EFCC immediately after his arrival in Nigeria on Monday from the US.

Some are saying he went to surrender himself because he believes nothing will happen considering the kind of judges we have in Nigeria, where a case can run for many years.

An aide to the former minister told The Punch on phone that Obanikoro, who reported to the EFCC by 1.20pm on Monday, had not been released by 8.59pm.

A company, Sylvan McNamara, allegedly owned by Obanikoro’s sons, was said to have received N4.7bn from the Office of National Security Adviser under Sambo Dasuki in June, 2014.

Sources at the anti-graft agency said after Obanikoro allegedly handed over N1.219bn to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and N1.3bn to Senator Iyiola Omisore, the then Osun State governorship candidate of the PDP, he directed that about N759,384,300 should be transferred into the accounts of about six bureau de change operators.

The two bureau de change operators that received the bulk of the funds were A.A.G.B.S. Oil and Gas and North Line Limited.

While A.A.G.B.S. received N168m on June 16, 2014, North Line Limited received N835, 000 on July 14; N83,750,000 on June 17; N1,680,000 on September 3, 2014; about N2,325, 300 on September 9; N5,932, 500 on September 17 and N842,500 on July 30.

An aide to Obanikoro, who accompanied the ex-minister to the EFCC, told the commission that he visited a bureau de change operator on the instruction of Obanikoro and collected over $1m on behalf of the ex-minister and handed it over to him (ex-minister).

Obanikoro could not deny the statement when confronted with the evidence including receipts.

Sources at EFCC said Obanikoro informed them that he was ill and was on medication. He pleaded with the commission to let him go home.

He specifically told them that he had recently had a spinal cord surgery and was still recuperating.

Obanikoro was said to have arrived at the commission with a bag containing drugs, toiletries and other items.

Detectives were said to have assured the ex-minister that the EFCC had a clinic and an ambulance in case of emergency, so he should face his case.

Politicians and "I'm feeling sick"...are five and six.