Obanikoro to spend night in detention as EFCC grills ex-minister

FILE PHOTO: Senator Musiliu Obanikoro declaring his ambition to rule Lagos
FILE PHOTO: Senator Musiliu Obanikoro declaring his ambition to rule Lagos

A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, will pass the night at the Economic and Financial Crimes headquarters in Abuja, his counsel told PREMIUM TIMES Monday night.

James Onoja, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and lead counsel to Mr. Obanikoro, said the former minister will likely be grilled overnight by detectives after he arrived the commission’s office earlier on Monday.

“He submitted himself to them upon returning to the country this morning,” Mr. Onoja said in a telephone interview. “Unfortunately, he won’t be out again today.”

Mr. Onoja said his client has written a statement and informed investigators all that he believed transpired.

“He told them all he knew in his statement, so we hope he’ll be released tomorrow.”

He, however, added that “If he’s not released, then we’ll have to do the needful. At least we have the courts and this is still a country that should be governed by the rule of law.”

Mr. Obanikoro arrived the country in the early hours of Monday, saying he returned home to clear himself of corruption allegations.

He has been having a running battle with the anti-graft agency for several months on charges bordering on financial crimes.

He left for the U.S. shortly after his party lost the 2015 elections and ceased being a minister.

The EFCC accused him of using his sons, Gbolahan and Jide, to take out government contracts worth about N4.7 billion that were never executed.

Mr. Obanikoro has also been implicated in the Ekiti elections scandal where soldiers allegedly connived with the then PDP candidate, Ayo Fayose, to manipulate the elections. Mr. Fayose later won the election against the incumbent governor and APC candidate, Kayode Fayemi. Mr. Obanikoro was minister of state for defence then but has denied any wrongdoing, It is not immediately clear if would answer questions about that allegation too.


The former senator had initially vowed not to return to the country alleging persecution by the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government as a means to discredit him.

Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesman, could not immediately give updates of Mr. Obanikoro’s case to PREMIUM TIMES Monday night.

“I have been away from the office for many hours,” Mr. Uwujaren said.

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  • vagabonds in power

    The Nigeria’s mainstream CSOs of Southwest or Lagos extraction undeniably provided “the technical know-how” that brought a contraption called “the Buhari Administration” to the country. That contraption is best described as “demo-dictatorship” or dictatorship created through a ballot box. Dictatorship is not born but made!

    In other words, the makers of dictatorship afflicting Nigeria today are the mainstream CSOs under reference. The referenced mainstream CSOs got their hands soiled and conscience mortgaged unpardonably to the extent that many of them have frustratingly adopted conspiracy of silence under the Buhari’s demo-dictatorship while others choose to speak defensively in favour of Buhari’s dictatorial policies and actions through behind the scene or third parties or in the open.

    The rest have shamelessly come out boldly as “protagonists of dictatorship”. Attempts made of late by these conscienceless and shackled CSOs to regurgitate or reprobate have also failed and backfired on account of the fact that you cannot eat your cake and have it back. This is more so when their oilers know where and how to get them entrapped using EFCC and DSS, in the event they try to opt out of the inglorious and unholy agreement.

    It is clear to all and sundry that before their ignoble roles, the referenced CSOs were the soul and conscience of the country; voice of the voiceless and defenders of the defenceless!

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Arresting & prosecuting thieve is seeking Justice & not dictatorship.
      Our Children, youths & Senior Citizens deprived by corruption deserve justice.

  • Isi Agwo

    Only a crazy man, or a man possessed by evil forces, will board a plane from USA where he is a citizen to seek to prove his innocence in Nigeria under Buhari’s dictatorship, where judges are arrested in the middle of the night and forced to sign recovery of fictitious amounts in their homes – under the barrel of guns.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      He would have been extradited & returned to Nigeria in Chains otherwise.
      He is a criminal suspect obliged to return to the Country of his birth to clear his name.
      I hope you understand that a thief is a thief. Being a minister or Judge makes no difference.

      • Isi Agwo

        ignoramus! America does not deport a citizen to face trial in another country. You might be as ignorant/illiterate as your master and lord, Bingo Bokohari.

        • Rommel

          Not when you have dual citizenship,was he an American when he served as minister ofv defense in Nigeria? seems you are the real ignoramus

          • Isi Agwo

            My friend, it’s a free world. You’re free to promote your ignorance to high heavens on the Internet just as your master and lord Bingo Bokohari did last week in Germany. An American citizen is an American citizen – full stop. It’s not like your citizenship which is worth less than one loaf of Agege bread.

        • Izedomi Ohirein

          Obanikoro has dual nationality & not an American per say.

          • Isi Agwo

            It’s “dual” nationality, my friend.

      • vagabonds in power

        It is sad that we still have your likes in Nigeria–57 years after our alleged freedom from Britain——very sad indeed————————-no wonder we have a Fulani man like Bingo Buhari as head of the Fulanis in Aso rock————Sadly for us u are an Ibo man also

        • Izedomi Ohirein

          No Igbo answer my name. You are corrupt, ignorant & amoral.
          War against corruption, armed robbers, kidnappers, Oil thieves, Pipeline vandals must continue.

    • Nkem

      Incidentally, Obanikoro himself said something to that effect when he vowed never to return to Buhari’s ‘jungle of political persecution’. However it seems he has finally decided that being crazy is better than being broke. He has therefore decided to return to salvage whatever it is he can salvage through the usual plea bargaining rather than risk coming back in chains and without a penny to has s name.

    • Julius

      Because he was about to be deported back to Nigeria by the Unites States government.They will not harbor a thief. Got it ?

  • vagabonds in power

    For no matter how brilliant a first school leaving certificate holder like Bingo Buhari or secondary school attendee is, he or she can never conduct academic teachings in the university; and no matter how spiritually gifted a first school leaving certificate holder pastor is, he or she can never climb beyond the first step of a ladder in the Christendom. Where academic discrepancies exist at the altar of leadership, it is either enslavement or conflict or both with end-product being quackery or neo-quackery.

    • Ha

      What is the relationship between Christianity and formal education? Just because it is a Western religion has to conform with the Western culture? What University or tertiary institution has Saint Paul attended? I thought he used to be a vagabond like you before he converted.

  • vagabonds in power

    Buhari cannot survive without these fake——————-anti corruption rubbish———-which he often relies on to deceive Nigerians—————Sadly not many Nigerians have asked what Jonathan did with his Security votes————Since——–all——–Buhari and his Gestapos in DSS and EFCC have been doing is to attempt to climb on the back of their fake————————war against Dasuki to enable them lie their way around the global community——————-that they are fighting a war against corruption—-Unkwon to most it is a fabu–lies———-from the pit of hell——————Aware–Buhari and his fascist police men in efcc have been holding unto the wife of Obanikoro for almost two months now———————–So the man had to brave the odds in the USA to come and replace his wife—————————in prison————————The only way out for Nigeria is a Military coup–to sack Bingo Buhari again

  • Aisha4Presido2019

    Before elections, the Buharideens often told us that “Ha once Buhari enters that Villa, every nonsense person go vamoose…”!
    Well, Buhari has not only entered Villa, he has now lived there for almost One & Half Years, but rather than vamoose, all the so-called nonsense people are now even leaving America to come and confront him…..na so Buharicracy be o!

  • Somebody

    Eureka! After many years of searching I have found the problem with Nigeria. It is Premium Times!
    Premium Times is supporting Muhamadu Buhari to destroy Nigeria completely. That is the issue.
    Instead of Premium Times to shout that BUHARI is not fighting corruption but his opponents,
    Premium Times will just put it as headline that politicians of PDP have now been arrested.
    Is that how to fight corruption? Look, let me tell you, Buhari is not fighting any corruption.
    Locking up rivals and opponents is not a fight against corruption, it is sheer hypocrisy.
    Has Raji Fashola been investigated till today? No! You see. Buhari is not sincere.
    How did Raji Fashola who was earning less than 100,000 Naira a month just ten
    years ago, is now posing around as a billionaire and giving out cars as gifts?
    If Buhari is truly fighting corruption he will look into his own Ministers first.

  • Burning Spear

    Stop using the Saintly picture of Vasta who was brutally murdered by IBB—a semi Fulani cowherd like Bingo Buhari because of his real Gwari tribal marks——-Vasta represent all that truth stands for—–he is never in the class of uneducated minds like Bingo Buhari———————-

    • MammanJiyaVatsa

      Gen. Vastsa like it or not lives on forever.
      While Gen. Buhari as much as he’s criticized though not perfect but is an astute principled man, meant well but to effect desired changes needed one has to resort to madness.
      I don’t believe in whatever tribe, I believe in humanity – period !

  • vagabonds in power

    Buhari gets new Yawo————————-same as he he took over the Junior wife of late Sam Mbakwe————-He is now back with his old antics—————womanizing–like Obj——–while Nigeria burns to ashes——-That is why—————————Aisha’s worst nightmare remained one mystery girl, identified as Buhari’s mistress. International Guardian in July reported how this curvaceous light skinned journalist based in Canada was brought back to Nigeria and lodged in an exquisite suite on the third level of an Abuja five star hotel; how she spent most times with the President, and helped him with media issues, especially in identifying bloggers and activists bitterly opposed to his regime. The report cited Nnamdi Kanu who was arrested on October 18, 2015, in Lagos State by Nigeria’s secret police the Department of State Services (DSS). As one of the victim of this operation.

    But Aisha’s headache with her husband transcends her isolation from the regime she painstakingly was instrumental to, but allegedly is unconnected with her and her children’s position in the Buhari’s family. Confided a source, “You know that Oga President has been sick for some time now, and Aisha wants to get closer, but that has not been possible.”

    Buhari vs. Aisha: War in Aso Rock as the First Lady gets a much younger rival—–As Buhari hands over state Affairs to Daura——–in DSS ati Magu in Efcc—————

  • laredo

    Of course, EFCC has grilled countless ministers and governors, but they are all free enjoying their loot. No hope for Nigeria. Obanikoro, just be patient. One night in jail is nothing, give them the usual bribe, tomorrow you can be back in the U.S. enjoying your money.

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  • Man_Enough

    may he get what he deserves.

  • Papa Oghwriodo


    Good morning O. I am sad today. The country is looking like under-bridge of armed robbers.
    Thief everywhere. Senate President is doing thief-thief, Ministers too are doing the same thing.
    Even Supreme Court Judges are not left behind as hardened criminals. Is this a country again?
    The way things are going SSS will soon see hard drugs inside the bedroom of one Excellency.
    Anybody that can pack hard currency inside portmanteau under the bed can have hard drugs.

    • We dey hear

      “Take Saraki for example, he is the number three citizen‎ and he is having is day
      in court; how can you say judges cannot be arrested? Cases are delayed because
      defence lawyers don’t want them to continue, and unfortunately the court is tolerating
      them. Cross-examination has been going on for three months in Saraki’s case at CCT.
      What this shows is that if you steal enough, you can freeze the system. We are not saying
      people must go to jail; but we are saying let the law work.”

      ……………….Bolaji Owasanoye

      (Secretary to Presidential Anti-Corruption Committee)

      (October 17th, 2016)

  • George

    Another sensational report from PT in support of their religion backwardness president.

    Hillary Clinton hasn’t be lock up after all the accusations but here Nigeria under the half dead Buhari all accused person must be lock up. SHAME ON NIGERIANS who decided to return to Egypt.

  • KBE

    Obanikoro should send for more clothes and other essentials because he is going to be there for a minimum of one month. The almighty EFCC will detain or “keep in custody” first, before they start gathering evidence against him. In the EFCC you have to arrest a suspect first, keep him or her in custody for as long depending on the offense against the state and then begin to gather facts, evidence and witnesses against the ‘suspect’.