â€¦Only my corpse will follow you, jittery ex-Deputy Governor tells EFCC team
After about three months of hide and seek, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) today (Sunday) arrested a former Deputy Governor of Osun State,Â Otunba Iyiola Omisore in Abuja over alleged N4.745billionÂ illegally allocated to him and others by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).Out of the slush funds, about N1.310billion was traced to Omisore and three companies.
His other accomplices include Governor Ayodele Fayose and ex-Minister of Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, who has gone on self-exile in the United States.
The arrest of Omisore was with a tinge of drama as he locked himself up in a master bedroom to evade arrest by EFCC operatives.
But the EFCC operatives had to climb a balcony to gain access to the room where a jittery Omisore was arrested with $21,000 and about N1 million cash.
Sensitive documents relating to transfer of funds to slush companies by ONSA, the National Assembly and some companies were also recovered from Omisore.
When the die was cast, a cringing Omisore told the EFCC team: â€œI will not follow you; only my corpse or dead body will follow you.â€
He however surrendered when the siege on his house was daunting.
According to a top source in EFCC, the arrest of Omisore followed a successful trail of his movement to Abuja.
The source said: â€œWe had intelligence report that Omisore was at his 1, Kainji Crescent in Maitama, Abuja. We set out at 6am to invite him but when we got there; we were told he was not in town.
â€œWe went into the compound and gained access to the house. We started searching the rooms one by one. At a point, we discovered that the Master bedroom was locked. We asked them to open it but they said, they had no key to it. Having been aware of our presence, Omisore had firmly locked up himself to evade arrest.
â€œWe surrounded the place with armed policemen and entered the master bedroom through the balcony. When we met him, we showed him a court warrant of arrest and a search warrant fully endorsed by a competent court.
â€œWe searched hisÂ room afterwards and we discovered documents linking to thoseÂ companies used for laundering of money from ONSA , National Assembly and some firms whom they forced to part with cash to fund political campaign.
â€œSome of the documents also have to do with landed properties which he bought with these slush funds.
â€œWhen we finished the search,Â we showed him the warrant of arrest but he retired into a mild drama that he will not go to EFCC.
â€œOmisore, who knew the game was up said: â€˜I will not follow you, only my corpse or dead bodyÂ will follow you.â€™ The suspense continued until his lawyer, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria asked him to go toÂ EFCC headquarters.
â€œAfter then, we took him to the office and obtainedÂ statement from him. During interrogation,Â he admitted thatÂ he is a director of some of the companies linked to him . ONSA, National Assembly and some firms paid huge funds into the accounts of these companies .
â€œHe told our team that the companies paid the fundsÂ under investigation to him but they were the money he loaned the affected companies.
â€œWe have served him bail conditions, it is left to him to meet these terms to regain freedom. So far, we have detained him.â€
Findings confirmed that about N1.310billion was traced to Omisore andÂ three companies out of the N4,745billion.
According to a report by the EFCC, the funds wereÂ remitted as follows: Fimex Gilt Limited(N160m)-8/8/2014in UBA; Metropolitan Consortium(N350m)â€”9/7/14 in First Bank; Sawanara(N300m)—1/8/14 in First Bank and Metropolitan Consortium(N350m)-1/8/14 in First Bank.
A top EFCC source, who spoke in confidence, said: â€œPreliminary findings have shown that N1.310billion out of the N4.745billion from ONSA was remitted to the three firms and the
accounts of these three companies belong to Omisore. This is one of the reasons we have invited the former Deputy Governor but he is yet to show up.â€
The anti-graft agency through a letter, CR: 3000/EFCC/ABJ/ STF/Vol.3/116 of April 7, 2016 invited Omisore for interrogation.
The letter, signed by Abubakar Madaki on behalf of the Acting Chairman of EFCC, reads in part: â€œThe commission is investigating an alleged case in which your name featured prominently.
â€œIn view of the above, you are kindly requested to interview the undersigned on Monday, 11th of April 2016 at No.30, Harper Crescent, Wuse Zone 7 at 10am.
â€œYour cooperation in this regard is solicited.â€
Instead of honouring the invitation, Omisore wrote a letter through one of his lawyers, Wole Jimi-Bada and Co. that the interview should be rescheduled to Thursday, April 14, 2016.
The counsel said in part: â€œYour letter dated 7th April 2016 and addressed to our client and delivered to his gateman at our clientâ€™s residence has been passed on to our chambers.
â€œWe regret to inform you that our client travelled briefly out of Abuja but will return by Wednesdayevening accordingly to our instructions. Consequently and unfortunately, he will not be able to attend the interview scheduled for Monday, 11th April 2016 as requested in your letter under reference.