Moroophat Obanikoro, the wife of former Minister of State (Defence), Musiliu Obanikoro, has been ordered to forfeit her property seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while investigating her husband.
Justice Y. Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Jabi, Abuja, ordered that the forfeiture stands pending the outcome of investigations into her husband and children.
The property is located at 44 Mamman Kotangora Crescent, Katampke Extension, Abuja.
The EFCC had also seized a house in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State, allegedly belonging to Obanikoro’s two sons.
Halilu also rejected a prayer asking the EFCC to pay her the sum of N200m for violating her fundamental human rights.
Obanikoro is facing probe over the N4.745bn allegedly wired to a company, Sylva Mcnamara, by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Sylva Mcnamara is allegedly owned by Obanikoro’s two sons – Gbolahan and Babajide.
Obanikoro’s wife has, however, headed for the Appeal Court to challenge the court judgment, adding that she bought the property seven years before the alleged $2.1bn arms scam took place.
She argued that she cannot be punished for a crime allegedly committed by her husband.
Obanikoro’s wife demanded “an order setting aside the sealing of the property; an order directing the EFCC to tender an unreserved public apology for the unlawful and unconditional invasion of the aforesaid property and the sum of N200,000,000 as general damages for the unlawful and unconstitutional invasion of the property.”
However, the EFCC said that investigation showed that “the property belongs to Musiliu Obanikoro and he paid for the statutory charges for the property,” adding that Obanikoro’s wife could not claim to be ignorant of her husband’s alleged crime.
The commission said Musiliu Obanikoro and his sons collected over N600m from the ONSA for a non-existent contract.
The commission added, “That a lawyer, Tejumola Adeboye, who volunteered a statement to the commission, stated that he managed the said property and remits the rent to MON Integrated Services (a company allegedly owned by Obanikoro, which is also under probe).”
Justice Halilu said refused the application because he doesn’t want to stop the EFCC from doing its work.
“I shall refuse the application because it is most unmeritorious and specially packaged to deceive this court. God forbid,” he said.
Obanikoro was detained by the EFCC when he honoured their invitation last year.
Reports also stated that he admitted receiving the N4.745bn and distributed parts of it to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti and Iyiola Omisore who were both Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in Ekiti and Osun states respectively at the time.
Obanikoro allegedly gave N3.880bn to Ayodele Fayose and Senator Iyiola Omisore in July 2014.
Source & Photo Credit: PUNCH