Officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Thursday, July 14, 2016 grilled Alhaja Moroophat Onikoro, the wife of a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
Alhaja Onikoro was arrested in front of her husband’s house at Layi Ajayi-Bembe Street, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
A reliable security source disclosed that the DSS grilled Onikoro in connection with N4.7 billion diverted from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The source said that Alhaja Onikoro, who had been in the United States since June 2015 sneaked into Nigeria with the sole aim of ‘evacuating incriminating documents’ from her home, according to SaharaReporters.
“We arrested Alhaja Onikoro this morning. Although she bears Onikoro, she is the wife of Obanikoro. She was arrested with some vital documents. She is currently in our office in Shangisha, Lagos, and will later be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for more investigation,” the security source said.
It was however, gathered that Alhaja Onikoro was released after interrogation at the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in Ikoyi, on the condition that she would return the money today, Friday, July 15, 2016.
A reliable EFCC source said: “We released her after interrogation. The woman cooperated fully with us and we allowed her to go because we don’t hold people hostage. We asked her questions and she answered respectfully.”
Last month, EFCC raided Obanikoro’s house and recovered some documents reportedly linking Obanikoro to the N4.7billion diverted funds meant for the purchase of arms.
Recall that the anti-graft commission also sealed a house belonging to Obanikoro’s two sons, Babajide and Gbolahan, on the Banana Island area of the state.
Alhaja Onikoro who was in the house at the time of the search alleged that her rights were abused and had even sued the EFCC for N100m.
A source said: “When she sued the EFCC, she thought that would be the end of the matter. Unknown to her, we kept surveillance on the house and swiftly arrested her with the evidence we needed.”
EFCC investigations had revealed that N4.7 billion was paid into a bank account of Sylvan McNamara, a company in which Obanikoro’s two sons are said to be directors.
The anti-graft agency also said it was in possession of a CCTV footage which captured Obanikoro and three others loading the billions of naira unto a plane at the Lagos airport in 2014.
A reliable source said: “Let Obanikoro keep making noise in the US instead of him to be a man and come and defend himself like others. He has finished his academic programme in the US since April but has refused to return to Nigeria because he knows he is guilty.
“Obanikoro has put his family in trouble by using his sons to launder money. In this age of BVN (Bank Verification Number), it is difficult to get away with bank fraud.”