EFCC Releases Obanikoro

Musiliu Obanikoro, EFCC, Ekiti election, ObanikoroThe former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has been released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was released about on Friday evening, after fulfilling his bail condition which include providing two federal directors as sureties and depositing his Nigerian and American passports at the EFCC.

Senator Obanikoro last week paid the sum of 100.4 million naira to the federal government as part payment for the sum of 480 million naira he allegedly collected from the former national Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

Obanikoro reported to the EFCC three months after his invitation by the anti-graft agency. He reported at an EFCC facility directly on his arrival from the United States.

He has since been in their custody while his lawyers worked assiduously to secure his release.

Mr Obanikoro has been in the United States since 2015 after the general elections, where he said he was pursuing leadership and language courses at an American university.

The 2015 election saw his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), unseated at the centre.

Lawyers Working Hard To Secure Obanikoro’s Release, Says Aide

obanikoroFormer Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, may regain freedom soon from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his spokesman says.

Mr Jonathan Eze said on Tuesday that Mr Obanikoro’s lawyers were working assiduously to secure his release.

Mr Obanikoro had reported at the anti-graft agency’s office in Lagos on Monday, where he was being interrogated over alleged graft crimes.

His spokesman said in a statement that his principal was well and that the officials of the EFCC were cooperative.

Eze said the agency was conducting its interrogations decently without any form of intimidation and harassment.

He urged the supporters of the embattled former Minister to be patient, noting that the counsels are working tirelessly to secure his release.

The statement reads in parts: “Senator Musiliu Obanikoro is still in the custody of the EFCC, but I can confirm to you that he is strong and well.

“The EFCC officials are doing their job and as at this moment, we don’t have any reason to complain.

“We are optimistic that the operatives will conclude their questioning as soon as possible so that he can go home and rest since he hasn’t rested well, owing to the stress of travelling many hours from the United States.

“We are also confident that the EFCC will not indulge in the luxury of keeping him beyond reasonable time and days, especially as he submitted himself to them without stress”.

Mr Eze added that Senator Obanikoro was not afraid of his stewardship, saying he served Nigeria creditably well and was proud of his contributions so far.

Arms Probe: Obanikoro Reports To EFCC

Musiliu Obanikoro, EFCC, Ekiti election, ObanikoroThree months after his invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has finally reported to the anti-graft agency.

Senator Obanikoro returned to the country on Monday from the U.S. and later proceeded to an EFCC facility.

The former minister who also represented Lagos state in the Senate, had been a subject of interest to the commission in connection with alleged diversion of arms funds.

He has been accused of involvement in corrupt practices, as the anti-corruption campaign of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration intensified with a clampdown on some public officials from the previous administration.

The EFCC has said that it has proof that Obanikoro received a total of 4.745 billion Naira from the office of the former National Security Adviser between April 4, 2014, and December 15, 2014 through companies belonging to his sons.

Mr Obanikoro has been in the United States since 2015 after the general elections, where he said he was pursuing leadership and language courses at an American university.

The 2015 election saw his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), unseated at the centre.

Indictment In #EkitiElection Scandal

Obanikoro was also named in the alleged manipulation of Ekiti State’s governorship election after the emergence of an audio said to have been recorded by a military officer who was at a meeting with some PDP members.

Asides the release of the controversial audio which recorded voices purportedly of Obanikoro, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and other notable persons perfecting plans to rig the election, a PDP member also made headlines by tendering evidences to prove that the election was rigged in favour of the PDP.

Mr Tope Aluko gave a breakdown of how series of meetings were held before the election and listed the persons at the meeting to include former President Jonathan, former PDP Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, Governor Fayose and himself (Aluko).

“At the meeting President Jonathan agreed that if he needed Ekiti, he would support us to ensure that we delivered.

“At the second meeting we had Obanikoro, Jelili, Omisore… It was a combination of Osun and Ekiti people and they were discussing how we were going to move to take the south-west

“Before the primaries, His Excellency, Ayodele Fayose, said that we can only win using the military. Then we came up with a plan about May,” he alleged.

He referred to the audio, which was leaked on the internet, saying it was genuine and not doctored.

Controversies trailing the role of the military in the alleged rigging of the election after the emergence of the audio have since led to the retirement of one of the indicted officers, Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh.

The Army officer was retired in line with the recommendation of the Army panel set up to look into allegation of professional misconduct against him in connection with the conduct of June 14, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2015 general elections.

A board of inquiry led by General Officer Commanding One Division of the Nigerian Army, led by Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, indicted the senior officer and others, recommending various degrees of sanctions for them.

Largess To Voters Not Meant To Buy Their Votes – Sowunmi

Segun SowunmiA member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the largess given to voters in Ekiti State before the governorship election was not meant to buy their votes.

The former Director-General, Jonathan-Sambo Campaign in Ogun State, Segun Sowunmi, told Channels Television on Wednesday that the largess were meant to re-assure the people of Mr Ayodele Fayose’s commitment to taking care of their welfare.

He insisted that the electorates were not forced to vote for Fayose.

“They have the right to decide who to vote for on the day of the election. Whatever we give does not equate with the emotions with which you connect with them. We give them to let them know that the good times are back again,” he said.

Mr Sowunmi explained that Fayose won the election because of a good relationship he had developed with the people of the state while he was a governor.

He, however, admitted that “with the level of poverty in the land, largess at times really helps”.

The victory of Fayose over the incumbent Governor, Kayode Fayemi, came as a shock to many Nigerians. It has been largely attributed to the ability of Mr Fayose to connect with the people of the state, laying more emphasis on the need for governors to ensure that a cordial relationship exists between them and the governed.

“APC members consider the victory of Ayodele Fayose to be a shock.

“We saw it coming about six weeks ago. We knew the enigma called Fayose. He is extremely hardworking, will leave no stone unturned and will penetrate to the lowest and the largest sector of the society. We saw the arrogance of the so called elite middle class who began to deceive themselves that when the chips are down, politics is not about numbers.

“But when one man will have one vote and his vote will count, ultimately, those people that you disregard will matter. There are distinct publics in politics. They are teachers, civil servants, students and Okada riders.

“There is a tendency that is mostly observed in the south west. You cannot claim to be a progressive and act contrary to progressive,” the PDP member said.

He also accused the APC of having the ‘culture of imposition of candidates’ on the people, saying that “the APC is used to looking for somebody from outside and superimpose the person on the structure of their people that are on ground and they begin to act contrary to carrying them along and carrying them forward”.

“The APC run their government like a small cult, where it is only them and their family and the people of the state see all these.

“The so called elite will not join political parties of their choice, they will not participate and will not strengthen people around them. They will sit in the comfort of their stupendous arrogance and think that as they think, so do the people,” Mr Sowunmi said.

He expressed confidence that the PDP would win the Osun governorship election that will hold in August, pointing out that the party would deploy its strategy.

Several times in Nigeria, some elections are widely believed to have been rigged, but Mr Sowunmi said that the era had passed, as the electoral commission had adopted strategies that would make it difficult for elections to be rigged.


Ekiti Election: Stakeholders Express Confidence In INEC, Security Agencies

Ado ekiti 400x300It appears the Independent National Electoral Commission, the security agencies and the people of Ekiti State are ready for the governorship election on Saturday, June 21.

This was the impression Channels Television correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, got in Ado Ekiti town on Friday morning.

According to him, the town had remained peaceful with people going about their daily activities without signs of fear or anxiety despite the presence of fully armed security operatives on the roads.

One of the electoral observers present in town ahead of the polls, Mr Festus Okoye, expressed same view. His fear, however, was about the way the security agents would conduct themselves on the day, having arrived in large numbers.

While acknowledging the civil disposition of the security agents so far, he also revealed that the electoral body had shown readiness for a credible election that would be devoid of the usual logistic problems. He revealed that all stakeholders – party agents, security agents – were allowed to witness the distribution of the election materials, including the ones for observers and they were all ready for Saturday.

One of the Ekiti residents, Mr Olanipekun Sunday, who spoke to Channels Television, thanked the Federal Government for the level of security provided and the presence of security agencies on the streets, as it gives the people a sense of safety.

He showed signs of readiness for the election and also expressed confidence in the electoral body, as he said that he was sure that they would be delivering a credible election on Saturday.

Ekiti people go into the election to choose their governor for the next four years.

The major contenders are the candidate of the All Progressives Congress and incumbent Governor, Kayode Fayemi; the People’s Democratic Party candidate and former Governor of the state, Ayo Fayose; and the Labour Party’s Opeyemi Bamidele, a member of the House of Representatives, who was a member of the APC until he fell out with Mr. Fayemi.

The Accord Party candidate, Kole Ajayi, is also looking to cause an upset to claim the coveted seat.

Ekiti Election: INEC Is Ready For Credible, Successful Exercise – Idowu

INEC-boxThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has put everything in place to ensure a peaceful, credible and successful election in Ekiti State.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, said this on Friday, during a telephone interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He revealed that the INEC Chairman performed an inspection of all electoral materials earmarked for all the local governments in the state, in order to put the logistics in order towards the election on Saturday.

While giving assurances of INEC’s readiness for the governorship election, he noted that a successful election is not about INEC alone as everybody involved in the process must contribute to the success of the election.

He stated that all Permanent Voter Card holders should endeavour to go for accreditation at the polling unit where they collected their card, adding that those who had not collected the PVC do not have any business being at the polling unit on election day.

The issue of people not finding their names on the voter register would never happen again, he promised, but noted that this would not include people who are still in possession of the temporary voter card, as they would not be allowed to be part of the exercise.

He said that anybody who is interested in voting would have done the needful in line with INEC’s recommendation, as the collection of the PVC ended on Wednesday.

Mr Idowu also reiterated the view that voter education was not INEC’s responsibility alone, as politicians should educate people about what is expected of them, and so should the civil society. He maintained that having done the distribution of the PVC for 3 months, the commission had shown enough commitment to the Ekiti voters.

He disclosed that at least 60% of the Ekiti State PVC had been collected. He, however, said that the Chairman had promised that when the exercise is rounded off the breakdown of the collection would be made available to the political parties.

Describing the structure of the election, he explained that the Direct Data Capture machines would not be seen at the election venues as it was used for data capturing during registration alone and also noted that INEC would not be using card readers in the Ekiti and Osun elections, but only in by-elections ahead of 2015.

He emphasized the need for voters to be at the same polling unit where they registered at 8AM for accreditation and by 12.30AM they should be back on the queue, ready to perform the voting proper. He expects counting to start around 3PM.

Idowu also added that counting of ballot papers would start at the polling units and immediately goes for collation and by this INEC can achieve its target of announcing the election within 48hours.

He said that the result in each polling unit would be pasted at the ward level and also made available to the party agents and security agencies. He stated that only at the state level would the returning officer make an announcement.

There were questions about the possibility of the voter cards being cloned, Mr Idowu said that given the security features of the cards that have been produced, it would be hard to reproduce it, adding that just like fake currencies, if at all they are reproduced, it would be very easy to identify the fake.

The Ekiti State governorship election holds on Saturday, June 21, 2014.