Operatives of the Department of State Services on Thursday arrested the wife of a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, over ongoing investigations into how her husband and two sons collected and laundered over N4.7 billion from the national treasury in 2014.
The DSS, Vanguard learned last night, had been working in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to track the movement of Obanikoro and his associates linked with the transfer of the huge sum from the Office of the National Security Adviser to firms linked to them.
Competent security sources told Vanguard that Mrs. Obanikoro, whose husband was declared wanted only last month, was arrested in her Lagos home as she allegedly attempted to make away with vital documents related to the N4.7 billion case.
The woman, according to the source, allegedly sneaked into Nigeria with the sole aim of “evacuating incriminating documents” from her home only to be whisked away by eagle-eyed security men who had been trailing her as she arrived the country from abroad where she was staying with her husband and children.
It was learned that the assistance of the DSS was sought to arrest Mrs. Obanikoro as a result of the large number of armed policemen guiding her and her home in Lagos.
“The truth is that she had so many policemen around her and we decided to seek the support of a sister agency to arrest her as she came in to clear the ‘cobweb’,” a top source explained last night.
It will be recalled that operatives of the EFCC had on June 14 raided Obanikoro’s Lagos home in continuation of investigation into the N4.7 billion that was traced to two of his sons.
The amount in question was paid in many tranches from the ONSA account with the CBN into Sylvan McNamara Limited in Diamond Bank with account No. 0026223714, which they allegedly have interest.
Of interest to the EFCC is the fact that all the transfers were done between June and December 2014, a period that coincided with the preparation for the Ekiti State governorship poll which brought Governor Ayodele Fayose into office.
A breakdown of the payment showed that the sum of N200 million was transferred into Sylvan Mc Namara’s account on June 5, 2015, while N2 billion was also wired into the account from the CBN/Imprest Main account on June 16, 2016.
Similarly, another transfer of N700 million landed on the account on July 7, 2014, while N1 billion was credited to the account on July 30, 2014.
Other inflows into the account in question were: N160 million on August 8, 2014; N225 million on August 22, 2014; N200 million on November 14, 2014; and N200 million on December 5, 2014.
Both Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro, directors of the company, were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made sole signatory to the account.
EFCC is furious that the payments to the company from the office of the National Security Adviser were made without any valid contract between it and the Federal Government.