- Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has reportedly gotten back his passport from EFCC
- The passport was seized after the former state defence minister was accused of allegedly receiving N4.7bn from Dasuki
- Obanikoro subsequently returned over N100m out of the money and reportedly showed commitment in returning more
- Omisore whose passport was also seized in connection with the Dasukigate has reportedly gotten his passport back as well
A former minister of state for defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has reportedly retrieved his passports from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Punch reports that this is despite a directive by the federal government that 50 persons under investigations for fraud exceeding N50m are restricted from travelling.
The newspaper stated an impeccable source in the EFCC said that Obanikoro, who has an American passport and a Nigerian one, met certain conditions before his passports were returned to him.
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He said: “Obanikoro was able to return over N100m out of the money he received from Dasuki. He showed genuine commitment to returning more money and assist the EFCC with investigations and his passports were returned to him.
“The fact that the commission returned the passports to him does not mean that he has been cleared.”
Recall that Obanikoro has been under investigation since 2016 for allegedly receiving N4.7bn from the embattled former national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), in 2014.
Legit.ng gathers that the former minister allegedly handed over about N1.3bn to former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state and another N1.3bn to the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Osun state in 2014, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
However, after Fayose was arrested by the EFCC on Tuesday, October 16, it was learnt that Obanikoro travelled to the US.
“Obanikoro travelled out on Wednesday evening, saying he wanted to go for medical treatment. He gave no date when he would return,” a source said.
The former minister, who has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), had declared his intention to run for the Lagos West senatorial district election but shelved his ambition at the last minute.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that Omisore had also allegedly recovered his passport from the commission.
The former federal lawmaker was arrested by the EFCC in 2016 for allegedly receiving money from Dasuki through Obanikoro.
He subsequently returned N300m to the EFCC but his passport was seized by the commission.
Omisore had written to the EFCC, requesting that his passport be returned to him so that he could travel for medical treatment but his request was turned down.
However, the former Osun state deputy governor, who recently contested the governorship election of Osun state on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), entered into an undisclosed agreement with the APC when the election was declared inconclusive.
He was reported to have entered into a series of negotiations with the APC leadership to support the APC candidate in the poll, Gboyega Oyetola, but the details of the negotiations were never made public.
It was allegedly during the negotiations with the leadership of the APC that Omisore was said to have recovered his passport from the anti-graft agency.
Omisore’s media aide, Jide Fakorede, had said recently that his boss was no longer under investigation by the EFCC and that he was free to travel.
He had said: “Senator Iyiola Omisore was wrongly accused in 2016 and he surrendered himself to the EFCC for investigation and was given a ‘clean bill of health’ by the anti-graft body after a thorough investigation.
“It is on record that no case was instituted against him in any court of our land and neither was he arraigned before any court either. He has been enjoying his freedom and has even presented himself for election into public office passing through all security screenings. So we ask, what is the noise about?
The Punch added that it could not get Omisore’s side of the story as calls made to him were rejected while he later sent a text message saying, “Sorry, I can’t talk right now.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Raymond Dokpesi, a media tycoon in Nigeria, who is the owner of Daar Investment and Holdings Company Limited, told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, October 19, that he was not the launderer of the N2.1bn as alleged in an ongoing trial but Sambo Dasuki, who paid the funds to him in 2015.
Dokpesi spoke through his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), while arguing their no-case submission which they filed after the EFCC closed case against him with the 14th prosecution witness in May 2018.
The EFCC had charged Dokpesi and Daar Investment with money laundering and procurement fraud involving the sum of N2.1bn which they allegedly received from the office of the national security adviser between January and March 2015.
Top Nigeria Corruption Scandals: Joshua Dariye, Olisa Metuh and Sambo Dasuki | Legit.ng TV