Detectives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday stormed the Lagos homes of the erstwhile Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
The houses raided by the anti-graft operatives were Mr. Obanikoro’s private residence at Park View Estate and the house near Banana Island where his two sons – Jide and Gbolahan live with the families.
The detectives, who arrived the ex-senator’s main residence in three unmarked vehicles wearing jackets with EFCC’s insignia, took over the entire street, restricting vehicular and human movement while the operation lasted.
When they were done, the operatives allegedly carted away vehicles, wristwatches and other valuables belonging to Obanikoro and his sons, who are all currently in the U.S.
The media aide to the former minister, Jonathan Eze, who confirmed the raid, claimed that the EFCC officials harassed innocent kids and intimidated occupants of the properties, adding that the commission has never invited Obanikoro for questioning.
The spokesman said: “Officials of the EFCC on Tuesday, in their characteristic Gestapo like manner, invaded Senator Obanikoro’s houses in Ikoyi with unnecessary intimidation and harassment of occupants, who are majorly innocent kids, teenagers, his wife and daughter in-laws, not without carting away cars, wristwatches and other valuables.
“This is against the backdrop of the fact that the anti-graft agency has never invited him nor his sons for questioning beyond the tirades and allegations they have been propagating, using the media spaces.
“We are using this medium to draw attention of all Nigerians to yet another infringement on the fundamental and inalienable rights of the Obanikoro family”.
“To our chagrin, the vehicles driven away were cars and trucks bought since 2006 and thereabouts when Senator Obanikoro served as an Ambassador in Ghana among others, which obviously has no bearing with the purported investigation they are supposedly carrying out.
“We condemn in strong terms the brigandage and the idea of inflicting trauma on innocent dependants and violating their privacies without recourse to the rule of law.
“Senator Obanikoro has consulted with his lawyers and are prepared to meet them in court to stop this intrusions and persecution”, Eze stated.
Confirming the raid, Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwajeren said it was in line with ongoing investigations.
“I can tell you that no one was harassed in the course of the search and that it is part of ongoing investigation on the man. Our operatives, who went there, conducted their affairs in best practices and took some vehicles away. I cannot immediately give inventory on the things that were carted away, but that will be made known in due time.
“I do not think we need any permission from the man to do our job. Full details will be disclosed when we get there”, he said.
DISCLAIMER:Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of ABN TV