A leading figure in the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, has run into problems with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over the N700 million which he reportedly received from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Omisore, according to EFCC, which has now declared him wanted, has been unable to explain why he got the money from the former NSA, who is also standing trial for breach of public office and money laundering in three separate courts of law in Abuja.
EFCC claimed in a statement made available to Vanguard yesterday, that Omisore had been evading the commission after being served a formal invitation to appear for questioning on what he knew about the money.
The statement by EFCC’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: “The commi-ssion, today, declared a former deputy governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, wanted.
“He is wanted in connection with a case of receiving and misappropriating N700 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, between June and November, 2014.”
Sources familiar with the case said Omisore’s name featured on a list of 241 contractors who got contracts from the office of the NSA in 2014, but did not do any appreciable job to justify the huge sums collected by them.
Omisore, whose firm reportedly got a security job for N442.6 million, allegedly received payment shortly after the money was paid to the company that secured the job.
He was said to be a director of the firm at the time the payment was made to him.
When he was first requested by EFCC to report for interrogation, the former senator reportedly asked for a short time to report, only for him to approach a court for the exercise of his fundamental rights.
The EFCC letter of invitation, signed by Abubakar Madaki on behalf of the acting chairman of commission, read: “The commission is investigating an alleged case in which your name featured prominently.
“In view of the above, you are requested to interview the undersigned on Monday, April 11, at 30, Harper Crescent, Wuse Zone 7, at 10a.m. Your cooperation in this regard is solicited.”
However, rather than honour the invitation, Omisore wrote through a lawyer, Wole Jimi-Bada and Co., that the interview should be rescheduled.
The letter said: “Your letter dated April 7, addressed to our client and delivered to his security at our client’s residence, has been passed on to our chambers.
“We regret to inform you that our client travelled briefly out of Abuja but will return by Wednesday evening accordingly.
“Consequently, he will not be able to attend the interview schedule, as requested in your letter under reference.
“On his behalf, we humbly request that the interview be rescheduled for April 14, for him to honour your invitation. We regret any inconvenience this request may cause you.”
In his reaction, Senator Omisore said: “I read the statement issued by EFCC, purportedly declaring me wanted as an attempt by that organisation and its leadership to tarnish my image.
“That statement, if indeed it was issued by EFCC, is the height of mischief and a deliberate attempt to assassinate my character. It is now very clear that EFCC is indeed playing out the script of persecuting and harassing perceived opposition groups in the country.
“To be sure, there is no basis for the EFCC so-called statement. Only on Tuesday, May 24, we appeared in court with EFCC asking for the permission of the court for an extension of time in the preliminary objection to a suit filed against me.
“The Managing Director of Firmex Gill, which EFCC joined in their case indemnified me from the company’s contracts and any such obligations.
“In other words, there is nothing relating to me in the company’s contract deal with ONSA. The company has even sued ONSA for its inability to pay the balance of the contract so awarded to it.”