Obanikoro Returns to Nigeria Monday

  •   Heads straight to EFCC

By Olawale Olaleye

Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who has been out of the country for over a year will return to the country today to answer to some of the allegations against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

THISDAY has it on good authority that the former minister, whose family members have had very rough engagements with the EFCC over different allegations involving money decided to return to the country after the commission formally extended an invitation, but not before breaking into his home in Park View, Ikoyi, months back. 

Obanikoro, who is expected to touch ground early this morning in Abuja, the nation’s capital enroute London Heathrow, was said to have stayed away first, because no formal invitation had been extended to him, noting that all that had been said and reported about him were not in official capacity.

But as soon as a formal invitation was sent to him, his lawyers were said to have promised the commission that he would honour it, more so that he had nothing to hide.

Apart from his studies, one other reason he was said to have stayed back in the US was to address some health issues, sources claimed was very crucial.

He was recently said to have had a spinal cord surgery.

Family sources said although Obanikoro had reservations about coming home to confront the allegations given the commission’s penchant for disregarding the rule of law, he however gave in when the need to clear his name became even more compelling.

More importantly was an email allegedly sent to him by the US Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton campaign group, following the boasting by the Republican Candidate, Donald Trump that he would jail her if he became president.

Thus, while sharing her thoughts with Obanikoro being a supporter of the Democratic party, Clinton, THISDAY learnt, wrote in the email: “Muhammed, last night, Donald Trump said that if he were elected president, he’d target Hillary and said she would be in jail if he were in charge.

“Threatening to jail political opponents isn’t what we do in America, Muhammed. Those are the words of totalitarianism.”

Obanikoro, sources said, was moved by those words of Clinton and her team and decided to return to the country to clear the mess once and for all.

A family source who claimed to be privy to some of the facts of the case claimed the commission had deliberately slanted the facts of the case in order to have a reason to bring Obanikoro in, otherwise, the money in question was not in anyway connected to the arms deal but from the imprest accruable to the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). 

He also claimed that some of the disputed funds were used when Lagos was under the threat of Boko Haram, while the rest were given to Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and Senator Iyiola Omisore to prosecute their elections in 2014.

Efforts to reach Obanikoro did not yield as family members said he would not speak until he is done with the EFCC. But THISDAY gathered that he would be led to the commission by his two lawyers, Mr. Lawal Pedro and Mr. James Onoja, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).

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