Obanikoro Addresses $2.1bn Arms Deal Allegation, Welcomes Extradition Process

Following the raid by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the Ikoyi, Lagos, residence of former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, last Tuesday, the former minister has dismissed the allegations of his involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal, adding that they were based solely on rumours.

Obanikoro who had earlier responded to the raid by the commission, during which his cars and valuables were carted away by the agency, through his media aide Jonathan Eze, however decided to address the incident himself.

In a series of posts on his Facebook page yesterday, he said the raid by the EFCC was based purely on rumours of his supposed involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal and the National Security Adviser’s imprest account.
He said: “Suggestions of an EFCC investigation have dwelt solely in the realm of rumour, over which I have sued several media organisations.

“The rumour before was that of the $2.7 billion (sic) arms issue, now they say it is NSA imprest account. Let them make the documents public.

“EFCC has never officially made public any investigation of my record in government at any time before this illegal invasion of my house.”

While stressing that the rumours of a plan to extradite him from the United States were lies, he however said he would welcome an extradition process, as it would expose government’s shenanigans.

“Rumours of extradition are also lies. False allegations cannot stand up to any decent legal inquiry in a civilised system such as in the US.

“The allegations are lies, not backed by fact or evidence but a burning desire to obliterate the opposition and keep Nigerians distracted.

“The illegal invasion of my house and @realFFK (Femi Fani Kayode) and several others in detention, gives me no confidence in government’s willingness to do justice,” Obanikoro stated.

He added: “I welcome an extradition process as it will expose the shenanigans going on with their fraudulently fictitious fight against ‘corruption’.

“Since EFCC opted to make this a media trial/circus, let them make public any document linking me or any of my children to any financial scam.”
“I cannot submit myself to such a glaring witch hunt, injustice and charade; but I will fight it legally with God and a clear conscience on my side.”

Condemning the raid on his home during the Ramadam fast, he said: “To put one’s family and dependents through such trauma of illegal invasion, in this holy month of Ramadan is an unfair reward for service.

“I put close to two decades into public service, in opposition and in government, all with an unblemished record and a clear conscience.

“The aim of government is to distract the people from their woes. Such tactics have been tried before, in Nigeria and elsewhere, they failed.

“If hounding Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members will solve Nigeria’s economic woes then we welcome it. This is a rather woeful attempt to distract from those woes.

“If the harassment of PDP members will help government to deliver good governance, many of us would submit ourselves willingly to martyrdom.

“But unfortunately, harassing PDP leaders is not in any way equal to the delivery of good governance, no matter who applauds such illegality.

“The illegal invasion without EFCC invitation, notice of investigation or a court order is also a mockery of the intelligence of Nigerians.

“The illegal invasion and raid is a mockery of justice, an expression of disdain towards the judicial system and a terribly bad precedence
“Such invasion and raid of my house without prior invitation from EFCC to me or any court order towards this, signals a return to despotism.

“Furthermore, no court ordered a raid on my house or seizure of my belongings. Any such move is illegal and will be fought against legally.

“Let me reiterate clearly; I have never received any invitation from EFCC over any issue up till date. This invasion therefore is premature.

“In 16 years of democracy, we thought we had conquered despotism for good in Nigeria but in one year, this government has brought it back.

“The invasion and raid of my residence yesterday (Tuesday) by agents of the state is a sad throwback to a tyrannical past that is better forgotten.”

While addressing Nigerians, he said: “Nigerians must remain steadfast in condemning the nepotism like ethnic divisions and economic illiteracy that have characterised this government.
“Pursuing Obanikoro, hounding (Alison) Madueke, detaining FFK and (Sambo) Dasuki will not distract the people from the failure of government to deliver on its own promises.

“This is a government determined to outdo the abysmal and ignominious economic records of December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985 that ended in shame.

“This is a government that promotes ethnic divisions, distracts from issues, political persecution and official gangsterism from high places.

“I also remain unshaken in my belief that truth will prevail over falsehood, as ever before, no matter how exciting the falsehood may sound.

“I remain confident in my ultimate vindication and urge EFCC to make public any investigation so far conducted without any invitation to me.

“I commit myself, my family, my allies, and my friends into the hands of the Almighty God to whom all of us will give account one day.”

Credit: Thisday

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