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18 Oct 2016
3 ways Nigeria can take full advantage of Obanikoro's return
Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of State for Defence, is back home in Nigeria.
According to the Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, Obanikoro ran into the waiting arms of the commission upon his return.
He turned himself in after it became clear that the EFCC was going to declare him wanted, according to media reports.
"The former Minister of State for Defence is with the commission,” Uwujaren confirmed.
Nigeria has to take full advantage of Obanikoro's return and here's how:
1. The Ekiti rigging audio tape is bae
In 2015, an audio emerged starring Obanikoro, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Jelili Adesiyan and Captain Sagir Koli.
After the damning audio was made public, the major characters first denied the voices were theirs, before saying something along the lines that their voices had been doctored.
With the audio getting played over and over again, Obanikoro who was heard telling the Army Officer that he could decide his fate if he doesn't help rig the 2014 Ekiti governorship election with guns and boots, later said the audio and the conversation had been altogether misinterpreted and misrepresented.
Fayose was going to be the ultimate beneficiary of the rigging plot and so it turned out.
Fayose is now Governor and the other major actors are all alive. Koli, who blew the whistle, fled the country.
Obanikoro has a golden opportunity to come clean on the Ekiti rigging audio. That wouldn't be the EFCC's forte, but the relevant agencies should grill him until he reveals all that happened in that Hotel in Ekiti.
The truth is still out there and 'Koro' is a good place to start.
2. Koro loves a party and we should let him have one
According to Punch, "Obanikoro was accompanied by eight associates and friends to the Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission around 1pm on Monday".
What a way to make an entrance when you have a case of stealingN4.75bn (of arms procurement funds) hanging around your neck!
That's a friggin' party of eight-plus persons and 'Koro-nation' is welcome to be our guest.
Since a party of one is still a party but not so much fun, Obanikoro should be made to bring his sons, Babajide Obanikoro and Gbolahan Obanikoro, back home.
The EFCC is investigating Sylvan McNamara, a firm run by the younger Obanikoros. It is alleged that the company was a money laundering front for the Obanikoros.
Let's bring the Obanikoros home for a party--a huge party!
3. Step forward, Omisore
According to Sahara Reporters, "Obanikoro who had on several occasions dismissed the work of the anti-graft agency, started making contacts about returning to the country when his daughter, Shalewa, was arrested and made some damning revelations about her father.
"The source said Mr. Obanikoro confessed to officials involved in negotiating his return to taking money from the NSA to win the 2014 Ekiti State gubernatorial election at all cost for Ayodele Fayose, but conceded that only N800million made it into his private pockets. He also revealed that out of the money allegedly stolen from the NSA, N1.7million was given to former Senator Iyiola Omisore, while now-Governor Fayose stole the rest".
Stole the rest.
You can read those three words again for emphasis.
Fayose is covered by the immunity clause at the moment, so we can afford to wait.
But we do have Omisore. Good, Ol' Omisore.
If Sahara Reporters is right, law enforcement should have Omisore right beside Obanikoro this moment. We are sure they love the look of the other and a reunion between the pair is long overdue.