Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) grilled Mrs Moroophat Obanikoro, wife of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, and her daughter Shalewa Obanikoro on Friday, 15 July, 2016, over their involvement in the N4.7bn money laundry scam.
Mrs Obanikoro was arrested on Thursday, 14 July, 2016, for allegedly sneaking into Nigeria with the aim of removing incriminating documents from their home in Lagos, while Shalewa Obanikoro was quizzed over a transaction of N800m she allegedly made.
This is a major twist in the ongoing investigations into the N4.7bn allegedly paid into the company account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited owened by Obanikoro and his sons – Babajide and Gbolahan from the office of the National Security adviser, which made the EFCC declare the former minister wanted.
According to a report by Punch, an EFCC detective said, “Obanikoro’s wife came to our office on Friday morning as part of investigations into the N4.7bn paid into Sylvan McNamara, a company owned by her sons. During investigation, we stumbled on the account of an oil company. We then discovered that Obanikoro’s daughter was a signatory to the account of the oil company and that millions of naira was paid into the account at different times.”
“We then invited the daughter and she came to meet us at the office. During investigations, we found out that the daughter gave a standing order to the bank that N800m should be moved into another account. We wondered why such a young girl would have access to such funds so we started quizzing her.
“This is a whole new dimension to the case and we will continue to investigate to find out if it is related to the arms probe or not.”
Mr Obanikoro in his reaction through his media aide, Mr. Jonathan Eze denounced the report that his wife was trying to smuggle documents out of the country. He said, “First, Alhaja Moroophat has always been in the country managing her businesses as against the lies that she sneaked in last week from the United States.
“Second, no documents were found in her possession and the lies that she was arrested while trying to evacuate documents were a fabrication and can only survive in their warped and distorted minds. It should also be noted that the officials only came to invite her for questioning and as against the phrase that she was whisked away; her driver actually drove her in her own car to the office of the DSS.”
He also warned the EFCC against “persecuting an innocent woman, who has no dealings at all with either Sylva McNamara or MOB integrated that they are investigating.” He said Mrs Obanikoro has a “history of High Blood Pressure and heart related ailments and as such, should not be dragged into their biased and politicised investigations.”
MOB Integrated Services Limited, headed by Mr. Gbolahan Obanikoro, is being investigated over N2bn subsidy scam.
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