Obanikoro Dumps PDP

Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defense officially joined the ruling party-APC on Saturday, 24th of November, 2017.

It was reported that Obanikoro’s defection at his Lagos Island constituency ended months of speculations about the status of his political allegiance.

There were earlier reports that he had settled his differences with the national leader of APC, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu , as a step to joining the ruling party.

Though Obanikoro acknowledged reconciliation with Tinubu, he had neither denied nor confirmed plans to join his political mentor in APC.

He, however, finally gave the hint of his defection during a television interview on Thursday.

Obanikoro defected to the APC along with other PDP bigwigs in the state, including a former aide of former president Good luck Jonathan, Mrs Modupe Sasore.

Others are a national officer of the PDP, Mr Jide Damazio, and another PDP chieftain, Chief Kola Balogun.

They were received by chieftains of APC, including the state chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale; Alhaji Kashim Imam, Chief James Odunbaku as well as the Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr Adeniji Kazeem who represented Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.

Past and serving members of the National Assembly including Sen. Ganiyu Solomon, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa and Rep. Jide Jimoh were among APC bigwigs present.

He described Obanikoro as politically experienced and sagacious, and said his joining the party would no doubt add to the electoral fortune of the party in the state.

“We are happy to receive Obanikoro back in our fold. He was with us when we started the Alliance for Democracy (AD) but he decided to go the other way.

“Thank God he has realised his mistake and he is back. We are indeed happy to get back this big fish, along with others.

“Obanikoro is an asset and he will no doubt add value to our party,’’ he said.

Obanikoro, in his speech, said he was happy to return to the fold of his age-long political associates after his long sojourn in the PDP.

He said he defected because he couldn’t find fulfillment in the PDP and he joined the ruling party because he had a mission to render service on its platform.

The ex-minister said his former party could not offer him the platform for the kind of service he wanted to render.

“Today, I and others are not just joining the APC for joining sake, we are joining because we are on a mission.

“I had joined the PDP a few years ago with the hope that certain things would be done right to enable me make the desired impact. That did not happen.

“And now, Asiwaju Tinubu has taken leadership to another level, not only in the state, but at the national level.

“So, my joining the APC is not by accident. It is to return to my people and seek a platform on which I can render service to my people, because leadership is about service and co-ordination of talents to achieve results.

“We have looked everywhere, and the only party that offers that platform for service delivery is the APC.

“For me, this is not really a defection; it is a home-coming, because in a way, this is my root. I am happy to return to my people; no place like home,” he said.

Obanikoro praised the leadership style of Tinubu, which he said had ensured the development of the state.

He thanked Tinubu for being magnanimous to accept him back in the fold after years of altercations between them.

“I thank Tinubu for his magnanimity. I am here because he is generous and has a forgiving heart. If it were other leaders, they will say ‘God forbid’.

“He has accepted me back despite all the issues between us, I am grateful to him,” Obanikoro said.

The former minister said he we would do his best to add value to his new party.

The National Vice-Chairman of the APC (South West), Chief Puis Akinyelure, who represented Tinubu, said the party was glad with the home-coming of Obanikoro and others. He said the defection meant the PDP was dead as Obanikoro was one of its pillars in the state.

It was a carnival-like ceremony as party faithful danced and sang to receive Obanikoro and the others as popular Fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde, was on hand to thrill those present.

Obanikoro To Officially Defect To APC

A Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, will be officially defecting to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The politician confirmed this to newsmen, noting that he would be declaring his defection in Lagos at the weekend.

According to reports, Obanikoro has been seen recently at gatherings of APC chieftains.

Obanikoro was a minister under the Goodluck Jonathan administration and was in the running for the Lagos state governorship seat in 2015 but lost the ticket to Jimi Agbaje.

The politician confirmed this to newsmen, noting that he would be declaring his defection in Lagos at the weekend.

While he is yet to clearly state reasons for his defection, reports say Mr Obanikoro has been seen recently at gatherings of APC chieftains.

Obanikoro was a minister under the Goodluck Jonathan administration and was in the running for the Lagos state governorship seat in 2015 but lost the ticket to Jimi Agbaje.

Musiliu Obanikoro Sues EFCC For Seizure Of His Property.

Musiliu Obanikoro and his family are suing the commission, seeking court’s declaration that the forceful seizure of their personal effects constitutes a gross violation of their rights.

He filed the suit on Wednesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The applicants include Obanikoro’s wife Moroophat, his sons Gbolahon, Babajide and his wife Fati.

The applicants are praying the court for an order, setting aside the forceful detention of their properties on June 14, 2016.

They are demanding an “unreserved public apology”, as well as N100m as general damages against the commission.

The applicants are also seeking an order restraining the EFCC from arresting, detaining or harassing them or entering their premises again to seize their properties.

The EFCC had claimed that Obanikoro received suspicious payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser through companies linked to Obanikoro’s family.

The commission said that about one million dollars was transferred from ONSA to Mob Integrated Services on March 18, 2015.

But, the family, though their lawyer, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), said that the documents and properties seized by the EFCC had nothing to do with ONSA.

They claimed that the commission violated Regulation 13 of the EFCC (Enforcement Regulation) 2010, which provides that it shall “apply and obtain” a court order to enter and search any premises.

But the commission had told court to dismiss the suit, insisting that it acted in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Obanikoro to testify against Fayose Over 4.7Bn Fraud

A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has agreed to testify against Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and his aide, Mr. Abiodun Agbele.

Since Obanikoro earlier confessed in his statement of oath that he was the one who collected the N4.7bn and distributed it, the EFCC wants him to testify against Agbele which will also build a strong case against Fayose who currently enjoys immunity.

Obanikoro has agreed to this and he will be listed as one of the EFCC witnesses. If Agbele is convicted, Fayose will also be convicted once he is charged in 2018 after his immunity in office expires.

Obanikoro has reportedly returned N104m and has pledged to return N480m in instalments every four months. This is part of his plea bargain and negotiation, a common practice in criminal justice across the world.”

However, if Obanikoro cannot cooperate with the EFCC, then he and his sons may be charged along with the others.

Meanwhile, Obanikoro’s lawyer, Mr. James Onoja (SAN), said he was not aware that his client was with the EFCC but promised to find out.

In his statement, the ex-minister told the EFCC that he handed N1.3bn to the then governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore; while N1.219bn was given to Fayose through his aide, Agbele, during the build-up to the Ekiti governorship election which Fayose won.

Obanikoro was said to have converted a remainder of the money into $5.377m and handed  it to Fayose at Spotless Hotel, Ado Ekiti, in the presence of the then Ekiti State PDP Secretary, Tope Aluko, and other party stalwarts.

Agbele is currently standing trial before Justice Dimgba Igwe of a Federal High Court for allegedly receiving N1.219bn on behalf of Fayose.

A Zenith Bank Manager and branch Head has narrated in details how the money, which took the cashiers 10 days to count was disbursed on the instructions of Agbele

Obanikoro Fingered Again By EFCC In Probe Of Diezani Loot

A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who was recently granted administrative bail by the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been allegedly fingered in a new N400m scam.

Highly placed EFCC sources said on Sunday that Obanikoro 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 at the Abuja office of the EFCC for allegedly receiving N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser and distributing over N3bn to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Senator Iyiola Omisore, who were the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti and Osun states respectively in 2014.

Obanikoro subsequently returned N100m to the EFCC with a promise to return another N480m with his American and Nigerian passports seized before his release last Friday.

An EFCC detective on Sunday said 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.

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

A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, according to the documents, got N350m in two tranches.

The first tranche of N150m was allegedly paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond bank.

Usman and Fani-Kayode have since been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen while Udenwa and Falae may be arraigned soon.

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 former governors and ministers over the alleged N23bn Diezani sleaze.

Obanikoro Offers To Refund Stolen Funds

Embattled former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro may soon be let out of custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following indications that he has agreed to make refunds of the money he allegedly collected from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The anti-graft agency accused the ex-minister of collecting N785 million from ONSA while in office.
His friends and associates are understood to be rallying around him to raise the funds as a first step to secure his bail.
Obanikoro is understood to be targeting N100 million as first installment of the refund.
From ONSA, about N4.685 billon was transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited, a company allegedly linked to the ex-Minister.
Obanikoro told EFCC interrogators that N3.880 billion of the N4.685 billion was allocated to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Senator Iyiola Omisore.
He also said he handed over $5.377 million (about N60 million then) cash to Fayose at Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti in the presence of the former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Dr. Tope Aluko and other party stalwarts.
He said the balance of N785 million was expended on alleged anti-Boko Haram campaign in Lagos and the South-West.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The ex-minister has been cooperating with detectives and he appears willing to refund some cash out of the N785 million traced to Sylvan McNamara.
“I think his associates and friends have rallied around him, having discovered that the bulk of the cash from ONSA went to Fayose and Omisore.
“I think he might initially refund N100 million to get bail reprieve in order to prevail on others who benefited from the N785 million to repay the slush funds.
“The refund is one of the issues delaying the granting of bail to the ex-minister.”
Obanikoro had said: “The balance of N785 milion were used to prosecute the following: 1. procurement of souvenirs for the promotion of anti-Boko Haram insurgency in Lagos; 2. N200million for surveillance activities; 3. N200 million and other remaining funds were for operations managed by Taiwo Kareem.
“Taiwo Kareem impressed the former NSA with his management of pre and post-election funds. To God be the glory, the two elections were carried out without any loss of life
“When bomb blast occurred in Lagos on the 25th of June 2014, the NSA was disturbed and told me of his commitment to ensure that such doesn’t reoccur.
“He expressed the grave consequence that the reoccurrence will have not only on Lagos but the economy of the entire country.
“He emphasised the need for local input to complement the activities of security agencies. This is how Sylvan McNamara was introduced.”
The EFCC had discovered that Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, allegedly owned by Obanikoro and his sons, was used to launder the N4.745 billion.
The company, which was incorporated in November 2011 had the following as its directors: a close aide of the ex-minister, Ikenna Ezekwe (700,000 shares) of 51 Simpson Street, Ebute-Metta; Idowu Oshodi (299,000 shares) of 8, Prince Tayo Adesanya Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi; and Elizabeth Adebiyi (1,000 shares) of 3, Adedoyin Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere.
Ikenna Ezekwe’s account has been de-frozen by the EFCC since the slush funds were not traced to him.
Ezekwe has also been removed as the director of the slush company.
A document said: “To set the stage for the use of the company for money laundering, the board of directors on May 7, 2012 passed a resolution that the company should open an account and appointed Mr. Gbolahan Obanikoro, Ikenna Ezekwe, Ms. Theresa Matuluko (Secretary) and Mr. Babajide Obanikoro as the signatories to the account.
“The board added that the signing combination be that any of the signatories can sign alone.”
EFCC claimed that when it was time to illegally draw the N4.745 billion from ONSA as war chest for Ekiti Governorship poll, ex-minister Obanikoro made the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited available and coordinated the disbursement.
Contacted, Obanikoro’s spokesperson, Jonathan Eze, said he was not aware of the development.
Another source close to him, however, said “it is true.”

Detained Former Minister Obanikoro Offers To Refund N785m Election Stolen Fund

Embattled former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro may soon be let out of custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following indications that he has agreed to make refunds of the money he allegedly collected from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The anti-graft agency accused the ex-minister of receiving N785 million from ONSA while in office.

His friends and associates are understood to be rallying around him to raise funds as a first step to secure his bail.

Obanikoro is understood to be targeting  N100 million as the first installment of the refund.

From ONSA, about N4.685 billon was transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited, a company allegedly linked to the ex-Minister.

Obanikoro told EFCC interrogators that N3.880 billion of the N4.685 billion was allocated to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and  Senator Iyiola Omisore.

He also said he handed over $5.377 million (about N60 million then) cash to Fayose at Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti in the presence of the former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Dr. Tope Aluko, and other party stalwarts.

He said the balance of N785 million was expended on alleged anti-Boko Haram campaign in Lagos and the South-West.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The ex-minister has been cooperating with detectives and he appears willing to refund some cash out of the N785 million traced to Sylvan McNamara.

“I think his associates and friends have rallied around him, having discovered that the bulk of the cash from ONSA went to Fayose and Omisore.

“I think he might initially refund N100 million to get bail reprieve in order to prevail on others who benefited from the N785 million to repay the slush funds.

“The refund is one of the issues delaying the granting of bail to the ex-minister.”

Obanikoro had said:  “The balance of N785 million were used to prosecute the following: 1. procurement of souvenirs for the promotion of anti-Boko Haram insurgency in Lagos; 2. N200million for surveillance activities; 3. N200 million and other remaining funds were for operations managed by Taiwo Kareem.

“Taiwo Kareem impressed the former NSA with his management of pre and post-election funds. To God be the glory, the two elections were carried out without any loss of life

“When bomb blast occurred in Lagos on the 25th of June 2014, the NSA was disturbed and told me of his commitment to ensuring that such doesn’t reoccur.

“He expressed the grave consequence that the reoccurrence will have not only on Lagos but the economy of the entire country.

“He emphasized the need for local input to complement the activities of security agencies. This is how Sylvan McNamara was introduced.”

The EFCC had discovered that Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, allegedly owned by Obanikoro and his sons,   was used to launder the N4.745 billion.

The company, which was incorporated in November 2011 had the following as its directors: a close aide of the ex-minister, Ikenna Ezekwe (700,000 shares) of 51 Simpson Street, Ebute-Metta; Idowu Oshodi (299,000 shares) of 8, Prince Tayo Adesanya Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi; and Elizabeth Adebiyi (1,000 shares) of 3, Adedoyin Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere.

Ikenna Ezekwe’s account has been de-frozen by the EFCC since the slush funds were not traced to him.

Ezekwe has also been removed as the director of the slush company.

A document said: “To set the stage for the use of the company for money laundering, the board of directors on May 7, 2012  passed a resolution that the company should open an account and appointed Mr. Gbolahan Obanikoro, Ikenna Ezekwe, Ms. Theresa Matuluko (Secretary) and Mr. Babajide Obanikoro as the signatories to the account.

“The board added that the signing combination be that any of the signatories can sign alone.”

EFCC claimed that when it was time to illegally draw the N4.745 billion from ONSA as the war chest for Ekiti Governorship poll, ex-minister Obanikoro made the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited available and coordinated the disbursement.

Contacted, Obanikoro’s spokesperson, Jonathan Eze, said he was not aware of the development.

Another source close to him, however, said: “it is true.”

Sahara Reporters

Obanikoro’s Return Planned To Nail Me – Fayose

The testimony of former Minister of State (Defence) Musiliu Obanikoro in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) appears to be rattling Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose.

Obanikoro claimed that he gave Fayose N2.3 billion, which came from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in the run-up to the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.

Apparently troubled by Obanikoro’s evidence, Fayose, in a statement made available to reporters yesterday, alleged that the ex-minister’s return from the United States was “arranged and compromised” in a bid to nail him (Fayose).

The governor also described Obanikoro’s surrender to the EFCC as part of “Fayose-Must-Be-Implicated-At-All-Cost” project, urging the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to channel its energy towards providing food for hungry Nigerians.

Dismissing the claim that Obanikoro had confessed to the EFCC on the receipt of funds from Dasuki to sponsor his 2014 governorship campaign, Fayose said he was only reacting just to fulfil all righteousness because Nigerians are more interested in having food on their tables.

He claimed that the APC and the EFCC were conducting a media trial, urging them to halt all salvos being fired at him and wait for him to present his defence.

He said: “We have gone beyond this stage of media trial. EFCC should rather keep its gun powder dry. When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. They said more than this in the 2006 poultry scam blackmail. Despite that, I am the governor today.”

Fayose added: “Those who arranged the dramatic and compromised return of Senator Obanikoro to Nigeria obviously did so in continuation of their project ‘Fayose must be implicated at all cost’ but I am not bothered because my election was legitimately funded.

“However, if this is why they are intimidating judges and the judiciary, it won’t work as far as my own matter is concerned as no one can play God.

“As far as I am concerned, I am busy here in Ekiti attending to the welfare and well-being of my people. I won’t be distracted.”

Fayose challenged the EFCC to also investigate the funding of APC elections, expressing outrage that “financial assistance from Nigerians is now criminalised”.

He said: “Since we are now in the era in which financial assistance from Nigerians to fund elections is being criminalised, the international community, especially those funding EFCC, must insist that the commission probes the funding of APC elections before further funds are released to the commission.

Also yesterday, Fayose dispelled the rumour that he had shut down the Ado-Ekiti branch of Access Bank Plc following last Monday’s attempt by agents of the EFCC to arrest Mrs Precious Chikwendu Fani-Kayode, the wife of former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode, in the bank premises.

In a statement in Ado-Ekiti by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose said it had nothing against the bank and there was no reason whatsoever to shut down the financial institution.

He said: “The attention of the state government has been drawn to rumours making the round, especially on social media, that Ekiti State Government has shut downý a branch of Access Bank in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

“This is definitely coming from the warped minds of opposition elements, whose mouths have been locked by the sterling performance of Fayose and the unprecedented support he is enjoying from the people of the state.

“For the sake of clarity, Ekiti State Government has no axe to grind with the management of Access Bank. Also, the state government does not license banks and can’t withdraw same.

“We enjoin the good people of Ekiti State and Nigerians in general to disregard such unfounded rumours.

“They should not let themselves be dragged to the level of the unintelligent like the opposition people have shown by embarking on this type of insinuation they probably brought from the pit of hell.”

Fayose, Omisore Got N3.8bn Cash For Ekiti Election, Obanikoro Reveals

Detained former Minister of State (Defence) Musiliu Obanikoro yesterday made more revelations on how the N4.745billion wired to a company linked to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) was shared.
The money comprised N4.685billon transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited and N60million ($5.77m) cash personally given to Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose by the ex-Minister.
Fayose issued a statement yesterday, saying Obanikoro’s return from overseas was planned to nail him. He did not deny receiving money from the former minister.
Obanikoro told Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives that N3.880billion was allocated to Fayose and Sen. Iyiola Omisore out of the cash.
He also said he handed over $5.377m cash to Fayose at Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti in the presence of the former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Dr. Tope Aluko, and other party stalwarts.
He reportedly demonstrated how Fayose collected the cash and put it “in the room next to where we were seated”.
The ex-minister, who made the disclosures during another round of grilling, said there were heaps of bank transfers to buttress his statement.
He said: “Out of N4.685billon transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited, N3.880billion was transferred to both Ayodele Fayose and Senator Omisore through cash and bank transfers.
“The dollars contents were handed over to Fayose personally by me in the presence of some party leaders and he collected it and took it to the room next to where we were all seated.
“The location where I gave the dollars to him is called Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti. One of the party leaders that was present is Dr. Tope Aluko, who was then the secretary of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“I transferred N1.7 billion to Omisore. The money was paid into his account and companies nominated by him. He gave the list of companies for the transfer of the N1.7billion that was released by the NSA to him.
“The funds were therefore transferred as prescribed by Omisore in full. That is to the account of the companies he provided. Details can be obtained from the bank that transferred the money.
“I, Musiliu Obanikoro, did not buy or sell any landed property from Sen. Omisore. The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) did not disclose to me what the funds were meant for and neither did I ask or I did not know the source of the funds.”
The former Minister however claimed that the balance of N785milion was used to wage war against Boko Haram in Lagos.
He added: “The balance of N785milion was used to prosecute the following: 1. procurement of souvenirs for the promotion of anti-Boko Haram insurgency in Lagos; 2. N200million for surveillance activities; 3. N200million and other remaining funds were for operations managed by Taiwo Kareem.
“Taiwo Kareem impressed the former NSA with his management of pre and post-election funds. To God be the glory, the two elections were carried out without any loss of life
“When bomb blast occurred in Lagos on the 25th of June 2014, the NSA was disturbed and told me of his commitment to ensure that such doesn’t reoccur.
“He expressed the grave consequence that the reoccurrence will have not only on Lagos but the economy of the entire country. He emphasized the need for local input to complement the activities of security agencies. This is how Sylvan McNamara was introduced.”
The EFCC obtained yesterday a court warrant to detain Obanikoro.
The anti-graft agency has also seized his passport to restrict his movement to the country.
A source said: “We have a valid warrant from the court to detain the ex-minister pending the conclusion of his interrogation by our team. He has a lot to tell us and we are keeping him in safe custody with comfort to enable him respond to the issues we have isolated for him.
“We have also seized his passport to restrict his movement to the country pending the conclusion of the ongoing probe.”
Aluko is believed to have made a statement to the EFCC.
Aluko had last year claimed that Obanikoro and Fayose clashed when the money ferried to Akure Airport was short of N80million.
He said: “The Presidency gave us security and money; the money was sent from a Diamond Bank branch through an account run by Sylvan MacNamara, a company owned by Obanikoro.
“My boss (Fayose) said he wanted to get his own in cash and that was why such a huge amount was ferried by plane. Obanikoro cannot claim not to have brought the money.
“He (Fayose) chose his man, Abiodun Agbele, to keep the money in a bank account. The transaction was not recorded and it got to a stage when it was discovered that the money was short by N80 million.
“This caused a crisis between Fayose and Obanikoro, who brought the money. He (Obanikoro) brought other things, apart from money, which I won’t disclose now..
”The cash carried in the plane was not entered into the manifest. It was delivered to a bank at 4.30 am in Ekiti. The remaining from the cash received for the election was used to buy a house in Abuja and the house belongs to Fayose.”

EFCC Nabs Fugitive, Musiliu Obanikoro

Former Nigeria Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro, who returned to Nigeria from the United States on Saturday, has been arrested by the EFCC.

Obanikoro, also a former ambassador to Ghana, fled Nigeria in 2015 after former President Goodluck Jonathan lost his bid for re-election. He was smuggled into Nigeria with the help of some Nigerian government officials with whom he had engaged in a negotiation to turn himself in. He had previously sworn not to return, implying he would be protected by the United States.

SaharaReporters sources say he is expected to remain in detention to face interrogation over allegations of corruption relating to bribery of army officers, electoral fraud and money laundering involving some N4.7billion that was taken from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Rtd. Col. Sambo Dasuki. Mr. Dasuki is himself undergoing trial and is currently in detention.

Earlier today, Obanikoro flew to Abuja as early as 8:00 am but refused to show up at the EFCC headquarters as promised. When it became clear that EFCC was going to declare him wanted, he finally arrived at its premises at about 1p.m. Nigerian time

An EFCC source told SaharaReporters that the former minister, who had on several occasions dismissed the work of the anti-graft agency, started making contacts about returning to the country when his daughter, Shalewa, was arrested and made some damning revelations about her father.

The source said Mr. Obanikoro confessed to officials involved in negotiating his return to taking money from the NSA to win the 2014 Ekiti State gubernatorial election at all cost for Ayodele Fayose, but conceded that only N800million made it into his private pockets. He also revealed that out of the money allegedly from the NSA, N1.7million was given to former Senator Iyiola Omisore, while now-Governor Fayose stole the rest.

Since last week some of Obanikoro’s aides, including Kayode Bwalla, have stated to return to Nigeria but his two sons who were also involved in engaging in massive money laundering have not returned to Nigeria.

Obanikoro departed the US for the United Kingdom last week, first traveling to the Netherlands. He then arrived in Lagos on Saturday evening and immediately went into hiding.

Sahara Reporters

Bank Official Confirms Giving N1.2bn To Obanikoro In Build-Up To Ekiti Elections

An official of Diamond Bank, Damola Otuyalo, has told officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that he personally handed over N1.2bn to a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, and his son, Gbolahan.

The entire exercise was said to have been captured on a Closed Circuit Television.

According to the EFCC, the N1.2bn was part of the N4.7bn paid into the company account of Obanikoro’s sons by the Office of the National Security Adviser during the build-up to the Ekiti and Osun states governorship election in 2014.

Otuyalo, who is the Head of Cash-in-Transit Services, told detectives that his duty was to evacuate excess cash from bank’s branches and move it to locations where money was needed.

The bank official told investigators that on June 16, 2014, he received a call from the Head of Operations and Technology, Mr. Premier Oiwoh, to arrange N1.2bn and pay six beneficiaries.

He said he was asked to pay the following persons: Saturaki Bello N200m; Yusuf Bulama N120m; Chimenum Njoku N250m; Franklin Tolani N150m; Josiah Moses N280; and Abubakar Sadiq Zanna N200m.

Otuyalo, however, explained that he was unable to pay them the money and that his director then instructed him to move the N1.2bn to the private wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on June 17.

The bank official was quoted to have said, “The beneficiaries were not available to be paid as I did not see them and I was later directed by Mr. Premier Oiwoh to move the money to the airport where I will be given further instruction.

“We moved the cash to the airport through the Cash-In-Transit vendor, Bankers Warehouse Limited. I contacted the vendor who made the bullion van available for movement. I personally supervised the loading of the money into the bullion van and escorted them to the airport.”

Otuyalo said on getting to the airport around 7am, he was not allowed into the private wing because he and the security detail did not have a gate pass.

He said a few minutes later, Obanikoro’s son came to the main gate and asked the security to let the bullion van in.

The bank official further stated, “When Gbolahan got to the gate, he cleared us and we drove in. My boss, Mr. Premier Oiwoh, called me on the telephone and confirmed to me that Obanikoro was the beneficiary of the money.

“I handed my phone over to Gbolahan and he spoke to my boss. Obanikoro came to meet us at the private wing with two policemen and some friends. I recognised Obanikoro very well because he is popular.”

Otuyalo told detectives that due to the large amount of money involved, it took them several hours to offload the cash unto the aeroplane.

He explained that it took three aeroplanes to carry all the money.

Otuyalo added, “We loaded the first aircraft with money and Obanikoro flew with his friends on the first flight. The second aircraft was loaded with money but it could not carry all the cash due to the size of the aircraft and the weight it could carry.

“I recall that another aircraft was also used to move the final batch of the money from the bullion van. The second and third movements were supervised by Gbolahan after Obanikoro had left with the first flight.

“The operation took several hours because we got to the airport around 7am and left around 4pm. The cash was bagged in cash bags totalling about 65 and everything was offloaded from the bullion van after which I reported to my boss, Mr. Oiwoh.”

Detectives told our correspondent that the N1.2bn was flown to Akure Airport and Obanikoro allegedly handed over the money to an associate of Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, who had since been detained by the EFCC.

He added that Officials of Zenith Bank arrived at the Akure Airport tarmac in a bullion van to convey all the cash to the bank’s vault located at 13, Alagbaka Estate, Akure.

He also said that the detective, who presented bank tellers, added that Agbele gave the bank instructions at different times to pay in money into Fayose’s Zenith Bank account even after the elections.

He added, “Agbele directed the bank to pay N137m into the account of Ayodele Fayose with number 1003126654 and Bank Verification Number 22338867502. The bank teller dated June 26, 2014, was filled by Agbele with teller number 0556814.

“Agbele directed the bank to transfer N118, 760, 000 to the same account and paid in N50m cash into Fayose’s account.

“On April 7, 2015, several months later, Fayose personally moved N300m to his fixed deposit account at Zenith Bank with number 9013074033 with his same BVN. The account is domiciled at 15 Olusola Abiona Street, Estate, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos.”

The source added that on the instruction of Fayose, Agbele deposited N100m to the account of Spotless Investment Limited, a hotel which is owned by Fayose and his wife, Olayemi.

Fayose allegedly used part of the money to buy houses in Abuja and Lagos. The houses had since been seized while his bank account with a balance of N380m was frozen.

Both Fayose and Obanikoro have denied the allegations levelled against them.

One of Obanikoro’s media aides, Mr. Jonathan Eze, told one of our correspondents on Saturday that he was driving and would call back. He was yet to do so as of press time.

When contacted, Head, Media Relations/Corporate Communications of Diamond Bank, Mr. Mike Omeife, told one of our correspondents that he could not confirm the report.

He said, “I have not been able to confirm from the unit what he (Otuyalo) said. I need to get the information from the unit; I need to get clarifications, and will then, get back to you.

“This is weekend. I need to get authentic information from the unit before speaking to you.”