Sunday Karim, a Peoples Democratic Party member representing Kogi State, was stopped by the State Security Service at the Abuja International Airport as he prepared to board a flight to the United States of America.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman for the EFCC, told Premium Times that state agents decided to move against Mr. Karim at the airport because the lawmaker had been elusive for weeks.
“We’ve been looking for him since then but we couldn’t find him,” Mr. Uwujaren said. “So we had to put his name on the watch list.”
Mr. Karim became a person of interest because he allegedly received up to N200 million through a company linked to him, Mr. Uwujaren said.
The firm, Atlantic Drilling Fluids, allegedly received the funds from Sylvan MacNamara, a company linked to the sons of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, the EFCC said.
Sylvan MacNamara was itself a subject of months of intense investigation by the authorities. The probe had seen operatives raid the homes of Mr. Obanikoro and his two sons, Jide and Gbolahan, in Lagos and Abuja.
The Obanikoros said they were innocent. They have not been seen in Nigeria since the enquiry began over six months ago.
Mr. Uwujaren said Mr. Karim reported at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja on Friday afternoon, and was later allowed to go on the condition that he would return on Monday for further interrogations.
But according to Mr. Karim, the EFCC was responsible for his ordeal, saying he had no prior notice that he was wanted by the authorities.
“EFCC said I cannot travel. Nigeria has become such a lawless country? If you have issues, you would call me and get a statement from me,” he said.