Ekiti Election: Ex-Minister Obanikoro Now Hiding From Nigerian Investigators Abroad?


From Sahara Reporters

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has
received more evidence linking former junior Minister for Defence Musiliu
Obanikoro, who now is hiding abroad, with the infamous Ekitigate election
scandal of June 2014 and the related plot to rig the Osun State gubernatorial
election, SaharaReporters has learned.

According to our source, the commission obtained financial
transaction information and witness testimonies connecting Mr. Obanikoro with a
group of companies which received at least N1.45 billion to rig the two
governorship elections last year.
The N1.45 billion was allegedly funneled into the accounts
of five companies, all of which were under the control of Mr. Obanikoro. The
evidence of these transactions emerged from EFCC interrogations of ten suspects
connected with the $2.1 billion arms scandal involving the Office of the
National Security Adviser (ONSA), Sambo Dasuki.
It would be recalled that SaharaReporters exclusively
published an audio recording by whistleblower Captain Sagir Koli last February
revealing Mr. Obanikoro presiding over a meeting on the eve of the Ekiti
election that was called to discuss how to ensure the victory of the candidate
of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ayo Fayose. 
In addition to both men at the meeting were the Osun State governorship
candidate, Iyiola Omisore; the Minister for Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan;
and Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh of the Nigerian Army.
Last month, the army announced a five-man panel to ascertain
any malpractice by its officers during the gubernatorial contests. The chairman
of the panel, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, stated that his committee would
tender a report within two weeks to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai
In a report last week, The Nation newspaper said it was told
by a source that massive amounts of money were moved from the Federal
Government to an “ex-Minister” to rig the Ekiti and Osun State governor
contests.  SaharaReporters has confirmed
that the former minister in reference is Mr. Obanikoro.
According to the source, who quoted by the newspaper, “The
huge funds were paid into the accounts of the ex-Minister for elections in the
two states,” and “some military and security personnel were to benefit from the
slush funds” were shortchanged.
Mr. Obanikoro is currently thought to be hiding out in the
United States.  Sources speaking with a
SaharaReporters correspondent disclosed that agents of the Department of State
Security recently intercepted several calls between a panicky Mr. Obanikoro and
the former Senate President, David Mark, in which the former Minister pleaded
for assistance from Mr. Mark regarding his forthcoming legal problems.
The same sources said that Mr. Obanikoro fears extradition
if he remains where he is hiding and is therefore trying to “eliminate” the
prospects of legal proceedings against him in Nigeria.
One of the suspects interrogated by the EFCC is an official
of the ONSA who confirmed that the funds were transferred to the five companies
at the behest of a former Accountant-General.
According to reports and SaharaReporters’ investigations,
the companies controlled by Mr. Obanikoro which received the deposits included:
Stellavera Dev Company (N300m), First Aralac Global Limited (N300m), First
Aralac Global Limited (N100m), Damaris Mode (N300m), Stellavera Dev Company
(N200m), and Whese Farms Ltd (N250m).
The funds were used either to influence the elections in
Ekiti and Osun States or simply laundered, or were earmarked for the 2015
presidential elections.
Efforts by Mr. Obanikoro to quash the EFCC’s investigation
from the United States have reportedly failed so far

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