The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has detained a former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
Obanikoro was detained and grilled on Monday, October 17 2016, for several hours by the commission.
He arrived Nigeria in the early hours of Monday, declaring that he returned home to clear himself of corruption allegations. Immediately after his arrival, he reported to the commission by 1.20pm, but had not being released by 8.59pm according to his aide raising fears that the commission has detained him.
He has been having a running battle with the EFCC for several months on charges bordering on financial crimes which led to operatives of the EFCC storming his Ikoyi, Lagos residence, reportedly harassing his wife and daughter as well as carting away his personal belongings.
A company, Sylvan McNamara, allegedly owned by Obanikoro’s sons, was said to have received N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in June, 2014.
Sources at the anti-graft agency said after Obanikoro allegedly handed over N1.219 billion to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and N1.3 billion to Senator Iyiola Omisore, the then Osun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, he directed that about N759,384,300 should be transferred into the accounts of about six bureau de change operators.
The money was alleged to have been part of the fund meant for the purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency. It was allegedly handed over to him by the former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
However, despite being kept in the detention facility of the EFCC in Abuja, Obanikoro expressed gratitude to his interrogators for treating him well.
According to a statement released late on Monday by his media aide, Jonathan Eze, Obanikoro said: “We wish to use this medium to commend the EFCC for the matured way they went about their interrogations.
“They were truly professional,” Eze added in the statement: “Senator Obanikoro has served this country at every levels from local government chairman till his appointments as Federal minister twice and he is proud of his contributions so far. He is not a fugitive as has been erroneously painted in the media and his returning to the country out of his own volition is a further testimony to this.”