EFCC Releases Obanikoro, Holds On To Abati

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released former Minister of Defence Musiliu Obanikoro from its custody.

Obanikoro, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was reportedly released by the anti-graft agency around 5:00 pm on Friday.

He was arrested on October 17 for allegedly receiving N4.7bn through the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.

Accused of pocketing almost N800m

The former minister was said to have pocketed N785m while the balance was given to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Senator Iyiola Omisore, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State in 2014.

According to sources, the EFCC said he refunded N100 million out of the total money. The commission also seized his Nigerian and American passports.

A source said: “EFCC asked Obanikoro to submit his passports. He was only willing to drop his Nigerian passport. But he has finally submitted the American passport.

“He was asked to produce two directors who must also present a three-month salary pay slip. He has returned N100 million and has pledged to return N480 million.

”The actual balance is meant to be N685 million, but he was able to provide receipts for some transactions.

”He paid N85 million to someone and that person has been traced. He also bought some bulletproof vehicles when he was minister and they will be handed over to the EFCC. The cost of the vehicles will be deducted from the amount that should be returned.”

Abati submits passports

Meanwhile, a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, is reported to have submitted his passport to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Abati was arrested last week following allegations that he received N50m from the Office of the National Security Adviser for unstated reasons.


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