Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to exempt his wife, Mrs. Moroophat Obanikoro, from its investigation of the family over allegation that they partook in the looting of $15bn arms money.
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Obanikoro is in self-exile in the United States alongside two of his son, Gbolahan and Babajide. The trio have stayed away from the country leading to the EFCC to declare them wanted following allegation that they received N4.7bn from the looted arms fund.
Gbolahan is also under investigation over allegation that is company, MOB Integrated Services Ltd, was involved in N2bn oil fraud.
On Thursday, the anti-graft agency arrested Mrs. Moroophat Obanikoro at the family Ikoyi residence and released her on Friday. The commission had also invited her daughter, Shalewa Obanikoro, for questioning after N800m was found in her bank account.
Reacting to his wife’s arrest from his base in the US through a statement, Obanikoro told the EFCC not to drag Mrs. Obanikoro into the matter, adding that she was innocent and battling heart related ailment.
The statement reads: “We are saddened by the fact that the media was awash with false and conflicting information about the invitation of Senator Obanikoro’s wife.
“Ordinarily, we considered ignoring these concocted lies, but for the sake of discerning and right thinking public, hence the need to straighten matters.
“First, Alhaja Moroophat has always been in the country, managing her businesses as against the lie that she sneaked in last week from the United States.
“Second, no documents were found in her possession and the lie that she was arrested, while trying to evacuate documents is a fabrication and can only survive in their warped and distorted minds. It should also be noted that the officials only came to invite her for questioning and as against the phrase that she was whisked away, her driver actually drove her in her own car to the office of the DSS.
“Third, it was shamefully reported that the DSS were involved because there were so many armed policemen guiding her. This is another fabricated lie. Even when he was serving as minister, his family never enjoyed any police protection let alone after leaving office and as a woman who is above board in all her dealings, she does not need one.
“Finally, we are using this medium to call on the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to resist from persecuting an innocent woman who has no dealings at all with any of the businesses that they are investigating and totally unaware of the alleged transactions.
“For emphasis, the innocent woman has a history of high blood pressure and heart related ailments and as such should not be dragged into their biased and politicised investigations.
“We have absolute confidence in the judiciary and we hope to get justice in the course with the proviso that they obey the rule of law and avoid arbitrariness that we are seeing on daily basis.”