EFCC rejects N100m refund offer from Obanikoro

Indications emerged yesterday that former minister of state for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro may spend more time with  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as his offer to pay back N100 million to government coffers was reportedly rejected.

Obanikoro had earlier dared the anti-graft agency who declared him wanted on allegations that he used a company, Sylvan Mac Namara, owned by his sons, to siphon N4.68 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), under retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.

Investigators allegedlydiscovered that from the amount, Obanikoro conveyed N1,219,490,000 to Akure, Ondo State, for the sole purpose of facilitating the election of Mr. Ayodele Fayose as governor of Ekiti State while he also ferried N1.3 billion to Senator Iyiola Omisore for his governorship bid in Osun State.

Obanikoro flew into the country on October 17, 2016, and went straight to the EFFC office where he has since been with investigators. There, he admitted that the balance of the money from the ONSA was used to check Boko Haram incursion into Lagos and the South West. Confronted with documentary evidence, Obanikoro reportedly agreed to refund the money allegedly used to campaign against the Boko Haram incursion to Lagos, from the North East.

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The former ambassador to Ghana was said to have agreed to refund N100 million to the coffers of the Federal Government. A source, however, confirmed that the offer to return N100 million did not go down well with the anti-graft agency as it asked for down-payment of N600 million.

The source said acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu reportedly demanded that the former minister should sign an undertaking to pay back N600 million within a stipulated time, a demand Obanikoro reportedly rejected, saying he had no means to raise the amount.

“He refused to sign the pledge, saying the money was too much,” quoted the source. EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that the former minister has returned some money and was cooperating with investigators. He added that the agency was still verifying payments and investigations were ongoing.

Obanikoro left the country shortly after the 2015 general election and remained in the United States of America until he voluntarily returned to the country last month.

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