Obanikoro Stranded at EFCC, Begs EFCC to Accept Commitment to Regain Freedom

By Joshua Olalekan

There were strong indications yesterday that a former Minister of Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro was yet to refund the N785million allegedly collected from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Out of the cash, about N100million refund was said to be the initial target of Obanikoro in order to regain freedom to look for the balance.

From ONSA, about N4.685billon was transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited, a company allegedly link to the ex-Minister.

Obanikoro told crack detectives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that N3.880billion was allocated to Governor Ayodele Fayose and Sen. Iyiola Omisore out of the said cash.

He also said he handed over $5.377m (N60m then) cash to Fayose at Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti in the presence of the former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Dr. Tope Aluko and other party stalwarts.

He said the balance of N785million was expended on alleged anti-Boko Haram campaign in Lagos and the South-West by Sylvan Mcnamara.

But the ex-Minister was said to be still sourcing for the refund as at the time of filing this report.

A top source, who spoke with Blackface News, said: “The ex-Minister is yet to pay back any money out of the N785million in question. Although he promised initial remittance of N100million, he is yet to do so.

“Instead, he said he will make a commitment to the EFCC to refund the cash. He begged for more time to enable him to look for the refund.

“We are however expecting him to make reasonable refund; we cannot accept just undertaking from him. He needs to live up to his promise.

“The refusal to refund any amount has been a major issue why his bail is being delayed.”
The EFCC had discovered that Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, allegedly owned by Obanikoro and his sons,   was used to launder the N4.745billion.

The company, which was incorporated in November 2011 had the following as its directors: a close aide of the ex-Minister, Ikenna Ezekwe (700,000 shares) of 51 Simpson Street, Ebute-Metta; Idowu Oshodi (299,000 shares) of 8, Prince Tayo Adesanya Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi; and Elizabeth Adebiyi (1,000 shares) of 3, Adedoyin Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere.

But Ikenna Ezekwe has had his accounts de-frozen by the EFCC since the funds were not traced to him.

Ezekwe has also been removed as the director of the company.

A document said: “To set the stage for the use of the company for money laundering, the board of directors on May 7, 2012  passed a resolution that the company should open an account and appointed Mr. Gbolahan Obanikoro, Ikenna Ezekwe, Ms. Theresa Matuluko (Secretary) and Mr. Babajide Obanikoro as the signatories to the account.

“The board added that the signing combination be that any of the signatories can sign alone.”
According to EFCC, when it was time to illegally draw the N4.745billion from ONSA as war chest for Ekiti Governorship poll, ex-Minister Obanikoro made the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited available and coordinated the disbursement.
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