#Dasukigate: Obanikoro responds to EFCC probe of sons over alleged N4.8billion fraudulent payment

Former Minister Musiliu Obanikoro
Former Minister Musiliu Obanikoro

The immediate past Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Musiliu Obanikoro has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to sincerely publish the names of the directors and signatories to the Sylvan McNamara Limited account that allegedly received N4.8billion from the office of the National Security Adviser.

In a statement circulated on his behalf by his media aide, Jonathan Eze, Mr. Obanikoro said the EFCC should provide details of the real signatories to the account “as at when the said money was paid instead of demonising and deceiving Nigerians with vague, contrived and distorted information”.

“Obanikoro is appalled by the public political persecution embarked upon by these agencies noting that there is nowhere in the world where investigations are being conducted using the pages of the newspapers,” the statement said.

The former minister also “queried the wisdom and logic of bandying figures and associating same with his sons who are thorough bred professionals in their own rights reminding them that the court of law is and remains the judicial institution for trying cases and not whipping sentiments in order to give the dog a bad name and hang it.”

Saying he served the nation in various capacities with enviable and untainted records of public service, Mr. Obanikoro urged the EFCC to be straight and above board in its investigations and avoid speculations and conjectures that are infringing on the fundamental human rights of his sons.

The statement reads in parts, “Associating my sons to the Sylvan McNamara account that allegedly received funds from the office of the embattled National security Adviser is highly preposterous and unthinkable.

“I am particularly amazed by the fact that trials and investigations are being done using the media unconventionally just to satisfy the cravings of political entities who are desperate to rub my hard earned reputation in the mud.

“I am using this medium to challenge … the EFCC to publish in good conscience the signatories and the names of the directors of the said company and to restate that I shall conclusively pursue this injustice and infringements to a logical end.”

The former minister also attacked news website, SaharaReporters, for publishing the report indicating that an account linked to his sons received funds from the NSA office, although other news platform, including PREMIUM TIMES, also published the reports.

Reports Saturday had indicated that two sons of the former minister Babajide and Gbolahan Obanikoro, were on the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission after about N4.75billion was traced to a company, Sylvan McNamara Limited, in which the two men have interest.

Operatives believe the investigation might lead to the invitation of former Minister Obanikoro himself.

The politician is currently in the United States where he is said to be schooling.

The money was allegedly paid in several tranches into the company’s account number 0026223714 with Diamond bank from the Office of the National Security Adviser account with the CBN.

According to the source, all the transfers were effected between June and December 2014, a period that coincided with the preparation for and the conduct of the Ekiti state gubernatorial election which ushered in the current administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose.

For instance N200m was transferred into Sylvan Mc Namara’s account on June 5, 2015, while N2billion was also wired into the account from the CBN/ Imprest Main account on June 16, 2015.

Another transfer of N700million hit the account on July 7, 2014, while N1billion was credited to the account on July 30, 2014.

Other transfers included N160m on August 8, 2014; N225m on August 22, 2014; N200m on November 14, 2014 and N200m on December 5, 2014.

Both Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro, sources disclosed, as directors of the company, were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made sole signatory to the account.

EFCC sources disclosed that the payments to the company from the office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, were made without any contract.

Mr. Dasuki is being prosecuted for allegedly mismanaging $2.1billion meant for arms procurement to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-west region of Nigeria.


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