Friday, February 26

EFCC Goes After Mu'azu, Obanikoro Over Illicit Car Gifts

EFCC Goes After Mu'azu, Obanikoro Over Illicit Car Gifts

Musiliu Obanikoro

The arrest of the deputy Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus by EFCC operatives is set to lead to the arrest of other party members who are currently out of the country for educational and health reasons.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to invite the immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; and a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, over the car gifts they allegedly received from oil baron, Jide Omokore.

Already, the EFCC has detained the Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, since Tuesday for allegedly receiving 23 exotic cars (worth N302m) from Omokore.

However, a source within the PDP told Punch correspondent that the vehicles distributed by Omokore to several party leaders were far more than 23 as the vehicles were meant to be distributed across the country.

Omokore, who is an ally of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been in detention for over a week. His firm was one of the companies that allegedly received multi-billion dollar public assets without due process by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2011.

His company, Atlantic Energy Limited, is accused of lifting crude oil, but only remitting a fraction of its worth to the government. According to detectives at the EFCC, the funds used for the purchase of the vehicles were sourced from crude oil receipts, which Omokore failed to remit.

The vehicles were said to have been given to key PDP chiefs who played key roles in mobilisation in their respective states. The commission, it was learnt, has been unable to arrest Mu’azu as he has been out of the country for some months. He is believed to be in either Dubai or Singapore.

The source said, “Mu’azu’s name has also been mentioned in the car issue but he has been out of the country for some months and we cannot get him now.”

Mu’azu is also to have been invited by the commission to explain the N10bn given to PDP delegates to the National Convention that picked Jonathan as the party candidate in 2014.

The N10bn was said to have been received through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Similarly, Obanikoro has been in the United States – since the defeat of Jonathan. He is said to be undergoing an academic programme in the US.

The former minister, who is an American citizen was said to have received five vehicles from Secondus.

The source said, “Some of the vehicles were given to Secondus but other PDP leaders received the vehicles, which were mostly Sport Utility Vehicles. We were told that Obanikoro received five of such vehicles.

“Obanikoro and members of his family have been out of the country since last year but we hear he goes to Ghana and returns to the US. The two of them, Muazu and Obanikoro, are needed to make clarifications on the cars.”

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