Another EFCC Probe Links Obanikoro to Millions from Diezani

Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has been fingered in a new N400m scam.

Impeccable sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission disclosed that Obanikoro, who was released last Friday, might be invited again soon to explain his alleged role in the scam.

The ex-minister, who returned from the United States on October 17, spent three weeks in the Abuja office of the EFCC for allegedly receiving N4.7bn from the then NSA and distributing over N3bn to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Senator Iyiola Omisore, the PDP governorship candidate in Osun State in 2014.

For that, Obanikoro returned N100m to the EFCC with a promise to return another N480m.

His American and Nigerian passports were subsequently seized before his release last Friday.

An EFCC detective told Punch that recent investigations showed that Obanikoro allegedly received N400m from a former Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, who was the Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation during the build-up to the 2015 elections.

The source said sometime in 2015, Usman sent the money to Obanikoro through a proxy.

The detective said, “As part of investigations into the billions disbursed by Nenadi Usman during the build-up to the 2015 elections, we interrogated a suspect at our office. The suspect told us that he handed over N400m to Obanikoro in the presence of some PDP members.

“So, Obanikoro will be invited to the Lagos office of the EFCC to tell his own side of the story.”

The EFCC had alleged in March that about N3.145bn was mysteriously transferred from the account of the ONSA, domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, to the account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by Usman.

Mrs. Usman was said to have transferred N840m to the account of the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in Zenith Bank on February 19, 2015, while she allegedly gave former SGF, Chief Olu Falae, N100m on the instruction of a PDP stalwart, Chief Tony Anenih.

Usman and Fani-Kayode have since been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen.

Apart from the ONSA fund, Usman allegedly disbursed a separate N23bn to various states during the build-up to the elections.

The money Usman disbursed allegedly emanated from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The money, which was $115m but converted to N23bn, was alleged to have been kickbacks from some dubious oil contractors involved in oil theft.

The EFCC has, so far, grilled about 16 ex- governors and ministers over the N23bn Diezani sleaze.