Former Minister of State for Defence is about to rat on his cronies and those he shared money meant to buy weapons for soldiers in the fight against Boko Haram.
Obanikoro who was said to be the money linkman between the past PDP regime of Goodluck Jonathan and the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, is all ready to nail those he shared and 'ate' the money together in what is seen as a landmark plea bargain case where he will shift the blame for the stolen money to Fayose, and possibly Jonathan and everyone else but himself.
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For those who don't know, a plea bargain is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor.
This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of the several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal charge in return for a more lenient sentence.
According to a statement accredited to an EFCC source, Obanikoro has already agreed to testify against Governor Fayose and one of his aides, Abiodun Agbele.
The statements reads in part:
“Senator Obanikoro came to the EFCC office on Monday morning as part of investigations into the N4.7bn.
Since he has confessed that he was the one who collected the N4.7bn and distributed it, he is in the best position to testify in court.
The EFCC wants him to testify against Agbele which will also build a strong case against Fayose who currently enjoys immunity.
Obanikoro has agreed and will be listed as one of the EFCC witnesses. If Agbele is convicted, it automatically means that Fayose will also be convicted once he is charged in 2018.
So let Fayose continue to play games. Omisore and Obanikoro are cooperating and returning the money. Their troubles will end soon while Fayose’s own will keep getting worse.”
After coming back from his hiding, Obanikoro had allegedly told the EFCC in his statement of oath that he received N4.7 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki in June 2014 and handed over N1.3bn to the then governorship candidate of the PDP in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, while N1.219 billion was given to Fayose through his aide, Agbele, during the build-up to the Ekiti governorship election which Fayose won.
The ex-Minister also said he kept the sum of about N785 million for himself and has agreed to return the money as part of the plea bargain.
Honourable man, you would say; but does the plea bargain and return of the money exonerate him from the original crime? Will they atone for the lives of Nigerian soldiers and civilians who died at the hands ok the dreaded Boko Haram while they were fritting away the money meant to buy weapons for them to fight the insurgents?
As the Minister of State for Defence at that time, would a plea bargain by Obanikoro absorb him of the blood of the innocent that watered the grounds of Maiduguri, Damaturu, Bama, Jos, Bauchi, Jalingo, Yola, Enugu, Benue, Kogi and other parts of Nigeria?
Would a plea bargain by Obanikoro bring back fathers, mothers, children and loved ones lost to the insurgents while he and his family were ensconced in the comfort of their homes abroad?
Would a plea bargain absorb him of complicity in the crime and how would he sleep at night knowing that his actions or inactions contributed to the loss of innocent lives? How would he feel when he remembers that innocent girls were kidnapped in their school while his children were in the best schools in Europe?
How would he feel when he remembers that the money he and his cronies shared could have been used to equip the soldiers fighting the sect? Does he have any conscience left?