Come Back To Nigeria And Clear Your Name, Igbokwe Tells Obanikoro

The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, has advised a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, and two of his sons to return to Nigeria to answer the allegations of fraud levelled against them.

While Senator Obanikoro has been accused of helping the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, to rig the June 21, 2014 election, his sons, Gbolahan and Babajide, are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving N4.75bn from the Central Bank of Nigeria Imprest Account of the Office of the National Security Adviser under Sambo Dasuki between June 6, 2014 and December, 12, 2015.

Senator Obanikoro, who is a citizen of the United States, has since the defeat of former President Goodluck Jonathan relocated to the US, where he is currently studying History at Oglethorpe University in Georgia. His sons are also currently in the US.

They have all denied the allegations levelled against them.

However, Igbokwe said the matter was a serious one and that the Obanikoros should come to Nigeria to clear their name.

He said issuing statements from the US was not enough.

The APC spokesperson said Nigeria had an extradition treaty with the US, adding that President Barack Obama had even promised to assist Nigeria in fighting corruption.

He, therefore, argued that even if the Obanikoros did not come back of their own volition, the US government could repatriate them.

Igbokwe, therefore, warned that it was better for the Obanikoros to come back to Nigeria honourably than to be disgraced.

Igbokwe said, “I advise the Obanikoro family to come back and prove that they have nothing to do with these allegations. They must come to clear their family name. It is important that they do this because the money that we are talking about is too huge for them to just brush aside.

“Issuing statements is not enough especially when there is evidence that cannot be ignored. So, they better come back because if they don’t, America, which has promised to support us, will extradite them.”

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How Fayose Received $37m From Goodluck Jonathan To Rig Ekiti Polls

More details have emerged on how Ekiti State Governor Mr. Ayo Fayose, received $37 million cash from former President Goodluck Jonathan to rig the June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state.

A member of the ring, who is in the know revealed how the cash was delivered by former defence Minister, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro to Ekiti for onward disbursement.

Revealing this on live Channels Television during its Politics Today programme monitored by Osun Defender, former Secretary of the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Temitope Aluko, said Jonathan gave Fayose $2 million in March 2014 for the primary election. He alleged that the cash was collected at the NNPC Towers in Abuja from businessman Ifeanyi Uba, who last night denied playing any role in the election or giving Fayose any money.

The PDP Operative said the cash was taken to Fayose’s private house in Abuja from where it was moved to Ekiti.

“Immediately after the primary election, we collected another $35 million from Jonathan on June 17, 2014. The money was brought to us by the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

“We all assembled in front of Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, owned by Fayose. Thereafter, the cash was taken to a Bureau De Change in Onitsha  where, with the support of Chris Uba, it was converted to N4.7 billion,” Aluko added.

But Fayose dismissed Aluko as a “distraction” and his story “untrue”.

The embattled PDP chief, who fell out with Fayose shortly after the election, disclosed that the governor collected about N3 billion cash from Senator Buruji Kashamu in 2013 to revive the then comatose PDP structure in Ekiti.

But Kashamu’s aide Augustine Oniyokor said: “While it is true that Senator Buruji Kashamu supported PDP candidates, including the Ekiti State governor, as a true party man, I’m not aware of the financial implications.”

Giving an insight into how the military and other security agencies were drafted into the Ekiti State election, Aluko said Fayose insisted that the only way the PDP could win was to use the military.

Said he: “The former President agreed with Fayose and summoned a security meeting at the Presidential Villa for the purpose of the election.

“Those at the meeting were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, then Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimmah and former PDP National Chairman Adamu Mu’azu.

“Others included Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, then Minister of Police Affairs Jelili Adesiyan and Obanikoro.

“At that meeting, the former President made it clear to the ex-Chief of Defence Staff that Fayose would stand for him (as Commander-in-Chief) in terms of providing security for the election.”

According to Aluko, the implication of Jonathan’s directive was that the military chiefs were to take orders from Fayose for the duration of the election.

On the strength of Jonathan’s directive, Aluko said Fayose then approached the former Commander of the Army Brigade in Akure, Brig.-Gen. Dikko, to take charge of the election for the PDP.

“But Gen. Dikko did not give us audience. He stated bluntly that he would not be available for such operation. So Fayose sponsored a petition against him, which led to his replacement with Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Momoh who was amenable to our plans,” Aluko stated.

Giving details of how the military and other security agencies were mobilised to win the election for the PDP, Aluko said four party stalwarts were picked from each of the 16 local government areas.

According to him, the 64 party stalwarts were carefully picked because they knew the terrain in their local governments very well.

“They gave detailed information regarding names and locations of opposition members in all the local governments, the various routes, areas of strength and weaknesses of the PDP in the 16 local government councils.

“Today, most of these 64 men are members of the Senate, House of Representatives, state House of Assembly, commissioners, local government chairmen, special advisers and the rest,” Aluko said.

“We went into the election with 1040 recognised soldiers and another batch of 400 unrecognised soldiers brought from Enugu by Chief Chris Uba.

“In addition, we raised 44 Special Strike teams, brought in Toyota Hilux buses from Abuja and Onitsha. We made special stickers for the vehicles that conveyed members of the Strike Team and black hand bands for each of them.

“Each Strike Team was made up of 10 members headed by a soldier and comprising soldiers, policemen, DSS operatives and Civil Defence Corps. They were detailed to attack and arrest prominent APC chieftains in all the local governments.

“We set up anchorage, mainly residential houses, in every local government where the Strike Team members collected their welfare and other allowances.

“To encourage the Strike Team members, we gave them orders to share money and other valuables they could lay their hands on in the houses of APC chieftains they raided.

“Then we set up detention camps, mainly in primary schools, where most of the APC chieftains were detained. Others were detained in police stations where the DPOs were friendly with us. We let them off after the election was over.

“A day to the election, we used the military to block all routes in the local governments and prevented APC chieftains, including former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, from coming into Ekiti.

“So we ensured that no APC chieftain was in sight on election day. We provided polling agents for the APC in most of the polling units so we had no problem getting them to sign election results in the units.

“All these local and foreign observes that described the election as free and fair only witnessed the voting on election day without knowing what transpired before the voting.”

Aluko, who was the Chief Returning Officer who signed the results for the election, said he was fully involved in the plot with Fayose from the very beginning.

According to him, he was forced to divulge the information because Fayose betrayed him and derailed from the original plan they had for the development of the state after winning the election.

Said he: “Before the election, Fayose, Femi Bamishile and I jointly swore with the Holy Bible on a sharing formula after we must have won the election. We agreed that Fayose would be governor, Bamishile his deputy and I, Chief of Staff.

“But the moment he got into office, Fayose reneged on the agreement and left me in the lurch. More worrisome is the fact that Fayose has derailed from the original Ekiti project we envisaged”.

He also spoke about the Osun election which followed and the inability of the PDP to take the same system they adopted in Ekiti, to Osun State which Governor Rauf Aregbesola resisted.

Aluko, who testified in camera before the military panel that investigated the role of the military in Ekiti and Osun states elections, said he gave the same testimony before the panel.

Don’t Destroy My Sons – Obanikoro

Former Minister Musiliu Obanikoro yesterday sought to rubbish media reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) traced N4.7billion believed to be from the $2.1billion slush funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to the account of a company in which his two sons –Gbolahan and Babajide – are directors.

The money was allegedly paid in tranches into the Diamond Bank account of Sylvan McNamara Limited.

Responding to the reports through his media aide, Jonathan Eze, Obanikoro challenged the EFCC to publish the names of directors of the company.

He wondered why his sons whom he called thorough bred professionals in their own rights could be so maligned when it would not have cost the media much to verify from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) the directors of the company at the time the transactions were made.

He urged the EFCC to be straight and above board in its investigations while avoiding speculations and conjectures infringing on the fundamental human rights of his sons.

Obanikoro said: “Associating my sons to the Sylvan McNamara account that allegedly received funds from the office of the embattled National security Adviser is highly preposterous and unthinkable.

“I am particularly amazed by the fact that trials and investigations are being done using the media unconventionally just to satisfy the cravings of political entities who are desperate to rub my hard earned reputation in the mud.”

He particularly picked on online news site Sahara Reporters ”whom I have legal cases against” for being ”at the forefront of misleading the public and defaming my person, perhaps rationalising that I would withdraw pending suits against it.”

He asked EFCC to “publish in good conscience the signatories and the names of the directors of the said company and to restate that I shall conclusively pursue this injustice and infringements to a logical end.”

The anti-graft agency suspects that the N4.7billion was used to prosecute the last governorship elections by  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti and Osun states.

Obanikoro, who is currently in the United States, was a key player in the coordination of the governorship polls in the two states including alleged abuse of deployment of troops.

Reliable sources in the anti-graft agency said the money was paid in tranches.

One of the sources said: “Two sons of former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Babajide and Gbolahan Obanikoro are currently on the radar of the EFCC.

“About N4, 745,000,000.00 was traced to a company, Sylvan McNamara Limited, in which they have interest.

“The money was paid in several tranches into the company’s account number: 0026223714 with Diamond bank from the Office of the National Security Adviser account with the CBN.”

Another well- placed source said: “All the transfers were effected between June and December 2014, a period that coincided with the preparation for and the conduct of the Ekiti state gubernatorial election which ushered in the current administration of governor Ayodele Fayose.

“For instance N200m was transferred into Sylvan Mc Namara’s account on June 5, 2015 while N2billion was also wired into the account from the CBN/ Imprest Main account on June 16, 2016.

“Another transfer of N700m hit the account on July 7, 2014, while N1billion was credited to the account on July 30, 2014.

“Other transfers included: N160m on August 8, 2014; N225m on August 22, 2014; N200m on November 14, 2014 and N200m on December 5, 2014.

“Both Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro( as directors of the company)  were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made sole signatory to the account.

“The payments to the company from the office of the National Security Adviser were made without any contract.”

Responding to a question, the first source added: “Some of the funds traced to Obanikoro’s son’s account were meant for procurement of arms.

“We are making necessary contact with the son of the ex-Minister for appropriate interaction with our operatives.

“We hope he will get in touch as required or else, we may invoke necessary legal procedures to make him to account for these curious payments.”

Dasukigate: N4.7b Traced To The Account Of Obanikoro’s Sons

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered about N4.745 billion curious transfers made into the account of two sons of a former Minister of Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.

The sons are Babajide and Gbolahan, who are both directors of the company used in siphoning the funds.

A source revealed to Sahara Reporters that suspicious funds were said to have been paid into the account of the ex-minister’s children by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

There were strong indications that the funds were used to prosecute the governorship polls for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti and Osun states.

Obanikoro, who is already holed up in the United States, was central to the coordination of the governorship poll in Ekiti and Osun states, including alleged abuse of deployment of troops.

Reliable sources in the anti-graft agency, who spoke in confidence, said the N4.8 billion was paid in tranches.

One of the sources said: “Two sons of former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Babajide and Gbolahan, are currently on the radar of the EFCC. About N4,745,000,000.00 was traced to a company, Sylvan McNamara Limited, in which they have interest.

“The money was allegedly paid in several tranches into the company’s account number: 0026223714 with Diamond Bank from the Office of the National Security Adviser account with the CBN.”

According to another source, “all the transfers were done between June and December 2014, a period that coincided with the preparation for and conduct of the Ekiti state gubernatorial election which ushered in the current administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose.

“For instance, N200 million was transferred into Sylvan Mc Namara’s account on June 5, 2015, while N2 billion was also wired into the account from the CBN/Imprest Main account on June 16, 2016.

“Another transfer of N700 million hit the account on July 7, 2014, while N1 billion was credited to the account on July 30, 2014.

“Other transfers included N160 million on August 8, 2014; N225 million on August 22, 2014; N200 million on November 14, 2014 and N200 million on December 5, 2014.

“Both Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro, directors of the company, were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made sole signatory to the account.

“The payments to the company from the office of the National Security Adviser were made without any contract.”

Responding to a question, the first source added: “Some of the funds traced to Obanikoro’s son’s account were meant for procurement of arms.

“We are making necessary contact with the son of the ex-minister for appropriate interaction with our operatives.

“We hope he will get in touch as required or else we may invoke necessary legal procedures to make him to account for these curious payments.”