A former Senator and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, was on Friday night released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission after he agreed to refund the over N1.3billion he allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser, people familiar with the matter have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The EFCC arrested Mr. Omisore in Abuja on July 3 for allegedly collecting the huge funds from a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The former NSA is being prosecuted for allegedly mismanaging billions of dollars meant to procure arms and ammunition for the Nigerian military which has in the past five years been battling a deadly insurgency in the North-East of Nigeria.
The PDP chieftain had since his arrest battled hard to regain freedom from the custody of the EFCC.
The anti-graft commission moved him to the National Hospital, Abuja, after he complained that his health was failing. He was however kept under close watch by two well-armed police officers.
Then his lawyers approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to press for bail but the court, on July 15, dismissed the application for lack of competence.
This week, the former deputy governor capitulated, those close to him said. He approached the EFCC and agreed to refund the money he was alleged to have fraudulently received.
On Friday, the EFCC granted him administrative bail after he struck a deal with the commission to refund the N1.3billion in installments.
He paid the first installment of N300million before he was allowed to go home, this newspaper learned.
Those familiar with the negotiation said before his release on Friday, Mr. Omisore issued a letter authorising his bank to release N170million to the EFCC, being the entire amount in his frozen account.
He also gave the anti-graft commission a draft of N130 million, bringing the first installment of the repayment plan to N300 million.
Mr. Omisore, a former deputy governor of Osun State and PDP flag-bearer in the 2014 Osun governorship election, will return to the Commission on Monday for further negotiations regarding how he would stagger the refund of the remaining one billion, our sources said.
Mr. Omisore had denied benefiting from #Dasukigate and had sued the EFCC, seeking N10 billion damages, after he was declared wanted in May.
However, according to our sources, Mr. Omisore, while in detention, admitted to collecting the sum from Mr. Dasuki.
Mr. Omisore, our sources disclosed, had initially claimed that the over N1.3 billion he received from Mr. Dasuki was meant for a certain parcel of land he sold to the office of the NSA.
The politician was however unable to provide documents backing the transaction, those close to him said.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached to comment for this story early Saturday morning.
Mr. Omisore too could not be reached by this newspaper. But the Nigerian Tribune quoted him as saying after his release, “Thanks for your support and prayers. I also thank my supporters for their steadfastness. I’m back at home in Abuja.”