Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro may soon be let out of custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following indications that he has agreed to make refunds of the money he allegedly collected from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The anti-graft agency accused the ex-minister of collecting N785 million from ONSA while in office. His friends and associates are understood to be rallying around him to raise the funds as a first step to secure his bail… But a petty thief gets to go to jail!
Obanikoro is understood to be targeting N100 million as first installment of the refund.
From ONSA, about N4.685 billon was transferred to Sylva McNamara Limited, a company allegedly linked to the ex-Minister.
Obanikoro told EFCC interrogators that N3.880 billion of the N4.685 billion was allocated to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Senator Iyiola Omisore.
He also said he handed over $5.377 million (about N60 million 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 N785 million was expended on alleged anti-Boko Haram campaign in Lagos and the South-West.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The ex-minister has been cooperating with detectives and he appears willing to refund some cash out of the N785 million traced to Sylvan McNamara.
“I think his associates and friends have rallied around him, having discovered that the bulk of the cash from ONSA went to Fayose and Omisore.
“I think he might initially refund N100 million to get bail reprieve in order to prevail on others who benefited from the N785 million to repay the slush funds.
“The refund is one of the issues delaying the granting of bail to the ex-minister.”
Obanikoro had said: “The balance of N785 milion were used to prosecute the following: 1. procurement of souvenirs for the promotion of anti-Boko Haram insurgency in Lagos; 2. N200million for surveillance activities; 3. N200 million and other remaining funds were for operations managed by Taiwo Kareem.