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Abati submits passport to EFCC, Obanikoro released

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A former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, has submitted his passport to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

This is just as the EFCC on Friday released a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

Abati was arrested last week following allegations that he received N50m from the Office of the National Security Adviser for unstated reasons.

He was said to have promised to return N5m but later changed his mind.

A member of the Peoples Democratic Party, who paid a visit to the EFCC during the week, told our correspondent that it was a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who advised Abati not to return any money.

He said, “During the week, when we went to visit Fani-Kayode, Abati, Obanikoro and others, we had a brief meeting with them. Fani-Kayode was the one who was advising others not to return any money to the EFCC, insisting that doing such would be an admittance of guilt.

“Fani-Kayode seemed not to be desperate to leave the EFCC custody. Obanikoro ignored him. However, it seemed Abati has heeded to Fani-Kayode’s advice.”

Meanwhile, Obanikoro was on Friday evening released from the custody of the commission.

A source said, “The EFCC released Senator Obanikoro around 5pm. He is on his way home now.”

The PUNCH had reported exclusively that the former minister had met all his bail conditions on Thursday night and the commission was processing his release.

Obanikoro, who was arrested on October 17, was accused of receiving N4.7bn through the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.

He was said to have pocketed N785m while the balance was given to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Senator Iyiola Omisore, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State in 2014.

Obanikoro was said to have returned N100m and pledged to return N480m while his American and Nigerian passports were submitted to the EFCC.

Punch

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