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Court Orders EFCC To Release Former FCT Minister As Obanikoro Returns N30M

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[caption id="attachment_14190" align="alignnone" width="660"]Senator Bala Mohammed, former Minister of FCT[/caption]

*Former Defence Minister To Return N450M In 2017 – 

Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on Monday returned another N30m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, totaling N134m he has returned to the EFCC, a source at the anti-graft agency said on Tuesday night.

The ex-minister had in October returned N104m to the commission.

It was further gathered that Obanikoro also pleaded with the EFCC to allow him return N450m in 2017.

“Obanikoro came on Monday and presented a draft of about N30m. Initially we did not want to collect it because it is small compared to what he is supposed to have given us. However, the legal department advised us to collect it,” the EFCC source said.

Adding that “About N450m is remaining and Obanikoro has promised to pay the rest in 2017. He will also be reporting at our office every two weeks.”

According to the source N30m returned was as part of the N4.7 billion traced to firms linked to him

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This is coming after an FCT High Court on Tuesday granted bail to the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Bala Mohammed.

The former Minister who was arrested when he went to honour an invitation by the EFCC, filed a suit for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights. He also sought damages of N100 million against the anti-graft agency over his continued detention.

The preciding judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, held that “the right to bail includes the right to fair hearing.”

The judge accused the EFCC of failing to verify Mr Bala Mohammed’s bail, despite meeting the conditions.

He was however told to produce two sureties of the rank of directors in federal civil service who must have certified landed properties in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), and also ordered to submit his international passport in the court.

Mohammed, a minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan, and Obanikoro, had been in the custody of the EFCC for about two months.

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Obanikoro was accused of receiving N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

Recall that Obanikoro, who returned from the United States last month revealed in his statement of oath at the EFCC that he gave N2.23 billion and $5,377,000 in cash in 2014 to the then governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, while his associate, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, got N1.3 billion. Obanikoro admitted that the N1.3 billion was flown to Akure airport in two chartered flights for delivery to Agbele.

The former minister said he also gave N1.7 billion to a former Osun Deputy Governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

Fayose has since denied the allegations, and accused the EFCC of using Obanikoro as a tool to nail him and others mentioned in the scam.