Reports are out that Detained Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has once again provided fresh information to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that he gave former Osun State Deputy Governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore, the sum of N1.7 billion out of the N4.7 billion he got from embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, it was learned, made the revelation after spending the second night in EFCC custody in Abuja since he arrived from the United States of America on Monday to sort out issues with the commission.
The EFCC had earlier raided his Lagos home and carted away vital documents relating to the said fund transfer. It was reported that Obanikoro did not, however, reveal what the money he allegedly gave Omisore was meant for and why he was the courier.
The former minister, Obanikoro, has been reported to be cooperating very well with the operatives of EFCC by providing detailed information regarding the N4.7 billion traced to him and companies linked to his sons.
“Obanikoro has confirmed that he actually transferred the sum of N1.7 billion from the NSA’s Office to Senator Iyiola Omisore but did not say why he did so and what the money was meant for.
“Obanikoro said out of N4.685 billon transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited, the sum of N3.880 billion was transferred to both Ayodele Fayose and Senator Omisore through cash and bank transfers.
“The dollar 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 was 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.”
An EFCC top official said the agency would go all out to get those named as having benefited from the arms cash.
The former minister was also reported to have confessed that he never had any business dealings with Omisore and did not execute any contract for him to warrant the transfer of the huge sum of money from the ONSA to companies nominated by him.
Obanikoro clearly narrated how the transaction was carried out. He did not mince words at all.
It will be recalled that the EFCC had in July this year arrested and detained Omisore after many failed bids to get at him to answer questions relating to the cash transfer.
According to EFCC, N1.7 billion was traced to Omisore and three firms out of the N4.7 billion allegedly laundered by Obanikoro.
On Tuesday, Obanikoro implicated Governor Ayodele Fayose, whom he said got more than $5.37m for his election. He told interrogators that he handed Fayose $5,377,000 in cash and N1.3billion was received by the governor’s associate, Mr. Abiodun Agbele.
Obanikoro admitted that the N1.3billion was flown to Akure airport in two chartered flights for delivery to Agbele. The money was sourced from the $2.1billion meant for arms purchase at the ONSA.
According to a report by the EFCC, the funds were transferred to various companies as follows: Fimex Gilt Limited (N160m)-8/8/2014 in UBA; Metropolitan Consortium (N350m)- 9/7/14 in First Bank; Sawanara (N300m)—1/8/14 in First Bank and Metropolitan Consortium (N350m)-1/8/14 in First Bank.
It was reported that Preliminary findings have shown that N1.310 billion out of the N4.745 billion from ONSA was remitted to the three firms and the accounts of these three companies belong to Omisore. This is one of the reasons why the EFCC had earlier invited him for interrogation.
Before Omisore was finally arrested in July, the commission had through a letter, of April 7, 2016 invited Omisore for interrogation but he shunned them. The letter, signed by Abubakar Madaki on behalf of the Acting Chairman of EFCC, read in part:
“The commission is investigating an alleged case in which your name featured prominently. “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to attend an interview with the undersigned on Monday, 11th of April 2016 at No.30, Harper Crescent, Wuse Zone 7 at10am. “Your cooperation in this regard is solicited.”
Instead of honouring the invitation, Omisore had however written a letter through one of his lawyers, Wole Jimi-Bada and Co. that he would be unable to attend as he was out of Abuja and asked for it to be rescheduled.