Buhari should arrest and prosecute Fashola & Amaechi — Musiliu Obanikoro | Says “EFCC is persecuting me because I am in Opposition”

Musiliu Obanikorp
For the first time since he was declared
wanted in some quarters in Nigeria, especially among the security agencies,
ex-Nigeria’s minister of Defence (State)under the regime of ex- President
Goodluck EbeleJonathan has decided to speak out from his United States
of America base.
Musiliu Obanikoro
is a
 versatile Nigerian
politician who served as Senator for Lagos State from 2003–2007, later
appointed High Commissioner to the Republic of Ghana and served again as
the Minister of State for Defence between 2014 & 2015. The ex-Senator,
Ex-Ambassador & Ex-Minister
 has come out  for the first time to tell Nigerians the true
story of his decision to stay out of the country, alleging orchestrated
political persecution and social media mudslinging in peoples’ opinion court
against his hard earned integrity.
After few weeks of interview-pursuit,
Koro, a Master’s Degree holder from Texas Southern University, an
Honorary citizen of Glenarden, Maryland and Little Rock, Arkansas
granted a Nigerian born International Journalist and CNN-iReport
Journalist  for North America, JOSEPH ADERIBIGBE an exclusive interview where he revealed how Nigeria’s
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is allegedly out to fizzle out
opposition party members, why political persecution has become the order of the
day, how Rotimi Amaechi, a-two time governor of Rivers State now
Minister of Transportation made Two Private Jets available for President
Muhammadu Buhari’s then Presidential
Campaign; Why All Progressives Congress Party breaches Democratic Rule by
Allowing Nigeria’s Security Agencies on Forefront of Governance.
Koro, a Peoples Democratic
chieftain clears the air on alleged EFCC Malicious Social Media
Trial, Reasons President Buhari should keep to his campaign
manifesto to the people, The man famously called Koro Ibo by his local
political fans in Nigeria also spoke  about his  EkitiGate Controversy and sends strong
message to Nigerians at Home and in Diaspora on how to move Nigeria forward.
Enjoy the excerpts as re-published by your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity
Encounter blog, Asabeafrika.

Q: How did you feel after your post graduate
degree in History from Oglethorpe University here in United States of America?
A: Well, that was just
another degree. I deliberately read History so that one can have in-depth
knowledge in terms of frontal issues that are relevant to happenings today
and tomorrow. As someone who has spent the larger parts of his life in
public office, it is always important for one to be able to relate issues of
today, with yesterday so that one can certainly projects into the future.
Q: How do you feel
reading and seeing your name being dragged on ground by Nigeria’s Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on social media of peoples’ opinion court?
A: Let me say this:
first of all, it is very unfortunate that any government, any responsible
government will engage in use of social media just to malign and destroy
citizens of their country. I have been in active politics since 1981, I have
never seen a situation where a government agency has been reduced to using
social media to destroy citizens of this country for any reason. If there are
investigations to be conducted, they should go and conduct their investigations
thoroughly, and if they (EFCC) have reasons to believe you have wronged the
system, they will indict you. Following the indictment, you will be tried
either by a jury or by a judge. You have a choice of either a jury trial or by
a judge. I believe you will have your day in court. That is how a democratic
government should work. Let me tell you, as a good student of history, the path
Nigeria is towing now is very dangerous.

Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro with Ex-President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo after a trip together
In a democratic
setting, the law enforcement agencies should take back seat. They (security
agencies) should be in the background. What we have now in Nigeria is a
situation where security agencies are wielding enormous power over and above
citizens of Nigeria, which should not be so. We are not making progress in our
democracy with this kind of disposition. No matter what you say about former
presidents Olusegun Obasanjo or Yar’Adua or Goodluck Jonathan, they never relegated security agencies over and
above Nigerian citizens. Yes, there were mistakes made within those periods,
but not the way security agencies choose to be more powerful than citizens and
other institutions of government. This is dangerous in a democracy because if
you are talking about institutions that have matured over time, may be you
would not be worried. How can we in Nigeria go back to the days of early 60’s
in America in 2016? Going back to America of the 60’s? That to me is a mistake
we should not make as a people. This is not a political talk. I am not talking
politics here, because if you look at the sacrifices people like MKO
, Pa Rewane, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola (late Chief
MKO’s wife) and a host of others who were killed so that we can have this
democracy, you will agree with me that it does not make any sense for us to
take our democracy with levity. We have paid too high a price to achieve it.
And we should not allow it to falter under any guise.

President Buhari

Q: Don’t you think the
way Nigeria’s security agencies are being elevated presently in enormous power,
many innocent Nigerians could be victims of their brigandage?
A: Let me tell you:
most people are not good students of History. There are some who are clapping
for them now, thinking that security agencies are working, but they are not
working. Let me tell you, they are not working, what they are doing is
destroying the fabric of the society. There is no gain-saying and I am not
playing politics with you. The way Peoples
Party (PDP) funded
their election was the same way All
Progressives Congress
(APC) funded their own election. The only difference
is that some PDP got their funding
from the federal, while APC got their funding from the states controlled by
APC. There is no way General Buhari
will come out and say that he got his own funding for the campaign for the
election through his inheritance. He got this money from states like Lagos, Kano, Borno, Yobe and a
lot of other places that gave him money for the election. Before Rotimi
(now Minister of Transportation) made private jets available to
he was flying all over in Arik Air. It was Amaechi
that made two private jets available for him. Those jets were paid for.
Now, what I think
anybody who wants to go on this kind of journey, that General Buhari decided to
go on, is to first of all admit to the public that you are also guilty of the
same offense (corruption). I can recall in 1976 I was not too young to know
this: when General Murtala Muhammed took over government and
decided one family should have a plot of land or a house, first thing he did
was to forfeit all his own properties to the government, and kept only one for
himself. You will also recall of recent, when Yar’Adua became
president, at the inaugural ceremony, he admitted that the process that brought
him in as president was faulty. He said he would do something to correct that.
Koro Ibo to the whole world ‘Please, EFCC is persecuting me because I am a PDP’
How can General
stand before the whole world and not admit to the fact that it
was the same public funds that he is busy crucifying us for was same fund that
brought him into government? Please hold on a second (pause). So, I believe
that ‘He who comes to Equity must come with Clean Hands’. It is evident
that what is going on in Nigeria today is witch-hunt and political persecution
just to muzzle the opposition and destroy individuals they perceive as threat
to their continual perpetration in government.
Q: There are different
allegations EFCC is pushing into the social media against you, prominent is the
$2.1 million Armsgate Scandal viz-a-viz Sambo Dasuki (former National Security
Adviser’s) office and the issue of Ekitigate fund is generating buzz on
A: Let me say this:
with all due respect, what they (Buhari’s government agencies) are persecuting
me for what occurred in 2014. Don’t forget that every year, we run a different
budget. They cannot tell me that $2.1 million was for 2014, the same budget was
another year. They cannot hide under that. Definitely, something is wrong
somewhere. The truth of the matter according to EFCC in the release they did
today, they said the money came from imprest account of the National Security
Adviser (NSA). Now, let us assume without conceding that what they are saying
is so. I am not conceding that that is the truth. It is even the prerogative of
the NSA to use the money that comes from his imprest account as he pleases.
He is the National
Security Adviser, he has the constitutional backing to define what security
threat means and spend money accordingly, to ensure that security threat is
eliminated. Assuming without conceding to them that what they are saying is
truth that NSA did give such money. But the truth of the matter is that they
cannot in good conscience link my name to this thing they are talking about.
The business they are talking about is not my business and it is not known to
me. The account they are talking about is not known to me. They (EFCC) trace
money to peoples’ account, right? They have not traced a kobo (a cent) to my
personal account or any of my children accounts. And even there are
allegations, they should have called me to come and clear whatsoever that
requires clarifications. They (EFCC) never did. Since last year, they started
spreading this malicious allegations. These are people who has no respect for
due process.
Q: EFCC alleged that
the sum of N200million was paid into Sylvan McNamara Limited, an account
where your children-Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro were directors of the
company in 2014
A: Thank you my
brother. As of 2013, two of my children (Gbolahan and Babajide) were
signatories to the account. They are not the owners of the company. They were
signatories to the account as of 2013. By 2013 they were no loner signatories
to the account.

EFCC Boss Ibrahim Magu

Q: Do you mean to say
by late 2013, your children were no longer signatories to the account?
A: Not even late 2013,
around June/July 2013 they were no longer signatories to the account. Yes, by
2013 they were no longer signatories to those accounts. Well over a year and I
was not even a minister at the time they removed their names. So, you cannot
say because their father was a minister that was why they removed their names.
Q: Will you then agree
that the EFCC just put up a falsified claim, falsehood and propaganda machinery
on social media deliberately to impugn, rubbish, ridicule and drown the
opposition in a bid to ruin those people?
A: My brother that is
precisely what they are doing. They said I was on the run. I left Nigeria at
the end of July. Before I could get admission into a school I must have applied
well on time. It takes time for admission to be processed here in America.
Moreso, Oglethorpe University is a private school. It is a well
reputable private school. Not just any private school on the bloc. They just
don’t take students anyhow. For me to have gotten admission, I must have
started admission process for sometime. I left Nigeria in July, those guys came
after me, in December they started their media persecution of ‘giving a dog a
bad name to hang the dog’.

Ayodele Fayose

Q: In short, you are being
persecuted social media wise by EFCC?
A: Yes, I am being
persecuted social media wise by Nigeria’s security agencies to arrive at a
political persecution. Try him in the court of public opinion, try him guilty
and then lynch him.
Q: You mean trying him
in court of public opinion, so that there is no way he can escape from being
found guilty?
A: That is the issue,
God bless you. That is why they have sustained that media campaign. If you look
at the level of poverty in Nigeria today, when you call such amount of money in
public opinion court, evidently you are going to get sympathy.

Babatunde Fashola

Q: That means the
generality of Nigerians will be placing curses on that person without knowing
the real truth…
A: That is precisely
what they did and what they will continually do. They have a more pressing
issue. All the promises made by government (to the people), not a single one
has been kept. A serious-minded government must take this very serious that we
made promises during campaign, not a single one has been kept. Infact, what we
are seeing are reversals. They said the price of fuel will become N45 when they
get into government, the price of fuel now is about N145.00 per litre. They
said they will strengthen Naira. What they have done now is to devalue Naira to
N343.00 to One Dollar. Every promise they have made, they have not kept
anything. They promised to give us the Rule of Law, they have almost completely
eliminated opposition. Even within their own (APC) circle, they don’t tolerate
dissenting voice. Everybody must tow the line, otherwise you will run into
trouble with the government of Nigeria.
Q: That means in all
these EFCC allegations you are innocent of all the accusations and charges?
A: Of course. I am
challenging EFCC to publish any amount of money they saw directly linked to me
or any of my children from that account. I am challenging them since they have
decided to drag me in the court of public opinion, let them publish it. At
least, there is an account sheet of transfers from that account. Let them put
it in the paper, give it to Sahara Reporters who is their
partner in this media persecution. Let them publish it, let the whole world see
it that this is the amount of money Obanikoro and children have
benefited directly from this account.

Rotimi Amaechi

Q: How will you
describe the One Year Anniversary of Buhari so far in power?
A: Let me tell you:
there is no doubt that they inherited some challenges. No doubt about that, I
am a Nigerian and I am a God-fearing man. What is fair is fair. There is no
doubt they inherited some challenges, but you see let me tell you, in any
system there are assets, and there are liabilities. Before I go into that, I
also want to challenge EFCC to publish the CAC document of that company. Let
the whole world see it. I challenge them to publish CAC documents of that
company-the document whether you will see my name or my children’s name on it.
Having said that, they
have inherited challenges which is normal in any government. When Barack
became President of United States, America was at the verge
of economic collapse, complete economic collapse, and he stood by his campaign
promises. And he got America out of the woods. He did not
compound their problem. He did not complain because Americans refused to listen to any complain. Let me tell you: If
APC is saying that they did not contemplate the level of challenges they were
going to surmount when they get into governance, it shows how unprepared they
were for governance. Reasons being that the World Bank before the
election was already projecting that the oil price was going to fall. We saw
this economic crisis coming, and you cannot blame PDP for the collapse of the
oil market. You cannot. Let me tell you: I don’t see why oil alone should
account for 99percent of our revenue. Then we are being insincere to ourselves
as a nation.
And one question that
people are not asking is to ask the government how come, what is happening to
the money that they are stealing in solid minerals in the North. Who are the
people behind it? How come individuals are extracting our solid minerals in the
North and they are not getting the same treatment that people are getting from
stealing our oil? It is okay in the North for people to steal the solid
minerals, but it is wrong for the South-south people to benefit from what God
has given them. We need to ask ourselves a number of questions as Nigerians. It
is either we have a country where all of us will be treated as equal or we
allow the country to fall into regional government where most of the powers
will reside at the regional level, which I think it is the best for the
country. The system we are operating today is not going to get Nigeria anywhere.
The way they are running the country now, they are going to destroy the country
where the resources of the country is being diverted to one section of the
country at the expense of others.
I was looking at the
budget he (Buhari) just read now, almost 60 or 70 percent is meant to benefit
the North against the South. What the North-Central got is more than what the
entire South got. 99Percent of our revenue comes from the South. Even the VAT,  Kano is getting more than Lagos, almost 70% or
80 % of the VAT revenue comes from Lagos. Yet, a state like Kano collect more
VAT than a state like Lagos. How can you continue to justify this kind of
injustice? How, how? Honestly speaking I had thought General Buhari would come
in and behave like an elder-statesman. He would pull everybody together,
protect everybody. Yes, fight corruption, since corruption is a monster we must
kill in Nigeria. No doubt about that. But you cannot kill corruption by using
double-edge sword by condoning corruption on one side and then condemning it on
the other side. Even the fact that Mr President refused to make his
asset declaration public is corruption on its own. He declared his own asset
declaration secretly, he did not even include his wife in the asset
declaration. It is against the law.
Q: There is another
allegation and rumor making the rounds in social media that Goodluck Jonathan,
a former president may be arrested and tried for corruption, the manner some
members of his then cabinet are presently being prosecuted?
A: Let me tell you: I
have told you that all the fight against corruption is a fight against
opposition. So, I would not be surprised if that is done. But the truth of the
matter is, this is directed at the opposition. There are people in government
today that are supposed to be in jail, who are now ministers. What has Femi
done that he’s locked up by EFCC because he was criticizing
the government? How do you blame a party’s publicity secretary for doing his
job, like they have their own publicity secretary during the campaign? Did they
(APC) paid for all the adverts they placed on televisions, newspapers and
social media outlets? They paid for it. They paid billions of money. How were
they (APC) able to hire David Axelrod
as their Campaign Consultant? How were they able to hire President Obama’s
Campaign Consultant? Somebody paid for it. Questions begging for answer. You
cannot accuse people of a crime you are also grossly guilty of. You are
alleging they gave me money for Ekiti/Osun states elections? So, APC did not
spend money to prosecute those elections? Let anyone of them including those
who are beneficiaries of the elections tell us what they inherited from their
parents that was sufficient enough for them to have prosecuted the election.
Q: There were
allegations in some section of Western press that Rotimi Amaechi, highest fund
donator to APC Election found guilty of corruption by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom
Wike’s committee in River state could be made Transportation Minister…
A: They(Rivers state
government) set up a panel in Rivers state and they found him (Amaechi) guilty.
A petition was submitted to the National Assembly, a petition was sent to EFCC,
up till today, they have not looked at those petitions. Nothing has been done
on the petitions. The same thing in Lagos state, petitions were submitted
against Babatunde Raji Fashola (former Lagos state governor), up till
today, they did not even consider it. Then it is okay for them to go after
people like us because we are no longer in government, and be maligning our
names, destroying our reputation for nothing.
Q: What is your
message to Nigerians at home and Nigerians in the Diaspora?
A: What I will say is
to appeal to Nigerians at home, particularly Nigerians in the Diaspora not to
lower the standard by which people in public service are judged. There is
standard in service here Overseas, that is the standard I want them to push to
Nigeria. If we are not able to measure up to that standard, if Nigerians in the
Diaspora cannot stand up and demand of us to measure up, I doubt it if Nigeria
will be able to achieve progress sooner than later. I doubt it if Nigeria will
achieve the greatness that we seek, because I believe if there are issues
affecting our society, Nigerians in the Diaspora have a lot to do about it. I
can understand the plight of people at home, you can pardon them because the
system being operated in Nigeria is the only system they know. But Nigerians in
the Diaspora, they have had the benefit and privilege of other systems which
has worked and it is working for all of us. I think we should not demand
anything less for Nigeria.
Having said that, for
Nigerians at home, I believe this is a very difficult time for everybody. And
there is no doubt in my mind that as a people we will overcome it. The primary
thing Nigeria must do is to restructure. We need to restructure Nigeria, the
system we are operating now cannot get us to the promised land, until we are
able to courageously confront the issues that stares us in the face, but if we
refused to accept; we will continue to struggle.


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