Eniola Akinkuotu, Olalekan Adetayo and Olaleye Aluko
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Tuesday, searched the apartments of the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, as part of investigations into the $43.4m, £27,000 and N23m (N13bn) found at a flat in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, last week.
Other prominent persons, living in the building, include a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (Retail), Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue; and media mogul and founder of Ebony Life Television, Mo Abudu.
Sources within the EFCC told one of our correspondents that all the flats were searched including the unoccupied ones.
The commission had uncovered the N13bn in flat 7B of the building on Wednesday last week.
Detectives were, however, of the opinion that there might be more money concealed in other flats including three unoccupied apartments.
The media aide to ex-Governor Obi, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that all the apartments in the building were searched by the commission.
He, however, maintained that the apartment was a rented one as Obi’s home is in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Obienyem warned mischief makers against seeking fault in Obi, adding that the entire tenants in the building were also searched.
He said although the former governor was not at home when the EFCC carried out the search, he sent the key to the flat to the EFCC and nothing incriminating was found in the apartment.
The statement read in part, “The media aide to former Governor Mr. Peter Obi has confirmed the search by the EFCC of Flat 1, occupied by the former governor in the building where the agency discovered large sums of money.
“The apartment was rented by the wife of the former governor and it is where Mr. Obi usually stays anytime he is in Lagos.
“Even though Mr. and Mrs Obi had travelled to the USA and the UK for speaking engagements, when we relayed the message of the search to him, he quickly sent the keys to the four-bedroom apartment to the EFCC via courier.
“He even left instructions that we should allow them to also search his Onitsha residence should there be a need for that. After the thorough search, nothing was found in the apartment.”
When contacted on Tuesday, Mo Abudu said she would not comment on any issue relating to the towers, adding that she had already put a statement on her Instagram page.
She said, “Hello. I am not interested in talking to the media about this. I’m in a meeting right now and I am not interested in talking about anything at all. Okay? So, I am going to drop my telephone now.
“I know what it is you want to talk about and I am not interested. I’m busy. There is nothing I’m going to talk about. Whatever it is you want to write, write it and if anybody writes anything that is not, I am going to sue that person.
“I have already put out a statement. Have you not been checking the internet? I am looking for the person that will let me make him a scapegoat.
“Go to my Instagram and you will see it. You will see my statement there. Thank you. Have a good night. Bye.”
Abudu had said through her lawyers, Streamsowers and Kohn, on their twitter handle that the apartment was not a gift from any government official.
The lawyers added that the apartment was bought by Abudu in the open market and for a fair value, stating that the allegations were baseless.
It was learnt on Tuesday that the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, was the one handling the investigations into the controversial N13bn seized by the EFCC and not the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
“The NSA, Babagana Monguno, is the one investigating and not the AGF. By the time he finishes his job, the Presidency may then officially address the issue,” a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The PUNCH. (Punchng.com)