We didn’t benefit from $2.1bn arms funds — Obanikoro jnr
Mr Gbolahan Obanikoro, is son of the former Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro. In this interview, he clears the air on allegations against him in respect of the N4.75billion received from the embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd).
By Dapo Akinrefon
Is it true that you are a director of Sylvan McNamara Ltd and signatory to the Diamond account which allegedly received the sum of N4.75B from the office of the NSA?
I am not and was never a director of this company and neither am I a signatory to its account or any other account related to the entity. My involvement with this company ended as far back as 2013 before all these incidents and before my father was even appointed as a Minister, so any dealings that transpired after that is of absolutely no concern or business of mine.
The bank is available to confirm who the signatories to the account are and the Corporate Affairs Comission, CAC, is also available to confirm who the directors of the company are. I am positive the authorities if at all they are investigating this matter will discover this.
It was reported that you allegedly bought a house in 2014 from the funds transferred to Sylvan McNamara?
I built my home in Nigeria in 2010, and I opted to buy a town home in the United States in 2014 during which period my wife had our 3rd child. My focus for almost a decade has always been on business and the private sector and not politics. I have been working hard and fortunate to run a successful business. So it is definitely not out of place for me, and it is most certainly not a crime to buy a house.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has begun its investigations linking you as a signatory to the account?
Like I said earlier, my involvement with this company ceased way back in 2013, and I challenge anyone to come forth with any evidence contrary to that. But let me say this: Justice is not served if authorities are taunting any information discovered during the course of their investigation to achieve a predetermined outcome. I think government must thread within the confides of the law.
Implications of the allegations on the Obanikoro family
Of course! I am a young man with an adorable wife and three beautiful children, so there is a lot at stake for me. Furthermore, as a young business man these types of unguarded allegations and press have undesirable implications on one’s business. But then again, it is not surprising especially for a family like ours.
The Obanikoro name is the envy of many from political opponents of my father and brother to personal adversaries. But that’s ok.
We are a God fearing Muslim family and a family deeply united with profound love and admiration for one another. We have individually and collectively accomplished a lot and as far as I am concerned the best is yet to come for the Obanikoros.