The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to invite the immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; and a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, over the car gifts they allegedly received from oil baron, Jide Omokore.
Already, the EFCC has detained the Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, since Tuesday for allegedly receiving 23 exotic cars (worth N302m) from Omokore.
However, a source within the PDP told our correspondent that the vehicles distributed by Omokore to several party leaders were far more than 23 as the vehicles were meant to be distributed across the country.
Omokore, who is an ally of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been in detention for over a week.
His firm was one of the companies that allegedly received multi-billion dollar public assets without due process by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2011.
His company, Atlantic Energy Limited, is accused of lifting crude oil, but only remitting a fraction of its worth to the government.
According to detectives at the EFCC, the funds used for the purchase of the vehicles were sourced from crude oil receipts, which Omokore failed to remit.
The vehicles were said to have been given to key PDP chiefs who played key roles in mobilisation in their respective states.
The commission, it was learnt, has been unable to arrest Mu’azu as he has been out of the country for some months.
He is believed to be in either Dubai or Singapore.
The source said, “Mu’azu’s name has also been mentioned in the car issue but he has been out of the country for some months and we cannot get him now.”
Mu’azu is also to have been invited by the commission to explain the N10bn given to PDP delegates to the National Convention that picked Jonathan as the party candidate in 2014.
The N10bn was said to have been received through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Similarly, Obanikoro has been in the United States – since the defeat of Jonathan. He is said to be undergoing an academic programme in the US.
The former minister, who is an American citizen was said to have received five vehicles from Secondus.
The source said, “Some of the vehicles were given to Secondus but other PDP leaders received the vehicles, which were mostly Sport Utility Vehicles. We were told that Obanikoro received five of such vehicles.
“Obanikoro and members of his family have been out of the country since last year but we hear he goes to Ghana and returns to the US. The two of them, Muazu and Obanikoro, are needed to make clarifications on the cars.”
Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said he was not aware of the moves to invite Obanikoro and Muazu.
However, Obanikoro said in a statement that he never received any vehicles from anybody during the last beneral elections.
In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Jonathan Eze, the former minister said he was busy preparing for his final exams and did not have time to be responding to frivolous accusations.
He said, “This is another malicious lie from the pit of hell. My principal never collected any car or cars from Jide Omokore. In fact, we doubt that he can utter such a statement because Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has never had any transaction with him. Those behind the desecration of his name should get busy with worthwhile things just the way my principal is busy studying.
“It is another lie that he was seen in Ghana a few weeks ago, I make bold to say that Senator Musiliu Obanikoro never travelled to Ghana but he is intellectually engaged in the US preparing for his examinations.
“Nigerians should please note that all these lies are figments of the imagination of a few who are bent on pulling him down after his clear records of public service. Senator Obanikoro is a full time student and as such he does not have the luxury of time to travel or hold meetings with anyone while academic activities are ongoing.”