FREEPRESS – The Interpol may ask the Federal Government to allow Edo state governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki travel to Paris to explain his link with the $2million cash found with his Commissioner for Arts, Tourism, Culture and diaspora affairs, Mr Osaze Osemwengie- Ero last month.
Indications are that Interpol will make its request to the Attorney-general of the Federation through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC as it begins investigations into the fraud scandal, next week.
Interpol is already working to find out:
Who Ero travelled with and on what date?
How he obtained official permission to travel?
For what purpose?
What payment did he receive officially and which banks were involved?
His point of exit and final destination among others?
Mr Osemwingie-Ero was arrested in France for alleged money laundering, after being found in possession of US$2 million, allegedly given to him by Mr Obaseki, while they were reportedly travelling together.
But the Edo State Government had denied both the confirmed arrest of the Commissioner and the money involved saying it had nothing to do with Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Special Adviser to Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said, “We learnt about the alleged arrest of the Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Commissioner, Hon. Osaze Osemwingie-Ero from unreliable sources on social media and we are unable to confirm either the alleged arrest or what might have led to it.
“But we can confirm without equivocation that whatever the issues might be, they are personal and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Edo State Government or Governor Godwin Obaseki,” he added.
But the EFCC, according to the NATION Newspaper, has already stepped into the matter and has written the INTERPOL placing Ero on its watch-list, which will enable the agency to repatriate the commissioner back to Nigeria to answer charges of money laundering.
“The essence of the watch-list with INTERPOL is also to indicate Nigeria’s interest in the case. With this, the INTERPOL will not release him until it is time to bring him back to the country”.
The EFCC has frozen all of Ero’s personal accounts and those of the Edo State Ministry of Arts, Culture, tourism and Diaspora Affairs, which he operated with the Governor as part of the ongoing profiling of the commissioner.