IN­TER­POL ar­rests Edo com­mis­sioner for al­leged $2m laun­der­ing

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Sola Shittu, Benin

OP­ER­A­TIVES of in­ter­pol have ar­rested the Edo State Com­mis­sioner for Arts, Cul­ture and Tourism, Mr Osaze Osemwingie-ero, for al­leged money laun­der­ing just as the Edo State Gov­ern­ment de­nied hav­ing any­thing to do with the ar­rest.

Osemwingie-ero was re­port­edly ar­rested and de­tained by in­ter­pol in France in novem­ber for be­ing in pos­ses­sion of $2m.

Ru­mour had it that the money was given to him by Gov­er­nor God­win Obaseki as he ac­com­pa­nied the gov­er­nor on the for­eign trip.

An­other source said the com­mis­sioner was be­ing ques­tioned for an of­fence he com­mit­ted seven years ago. But the Edo State Gov­ern­ment in its re­ac­tion on Mon­day said the al­leged ar­rest of Osemwingie-ero had noth­ing to do with Gov­er­nor Obaseki.

The Spe­cial Ad­viser to the Gov­er­nor on Me­dia and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Strat­egy, Mr Cru­soe Osagie, said the state gov­ern­ment could not con­firm the al­leged ar­rest of the com­mis­sioner.

He said, “We learnt about the al­leged ar­rest of the Arts, Cul­ture, Tourism and Di­as­pora Com­mis­sioner, 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 to­tally per­sonal and have noth­ing what­so­ever to do with the Edo State Gov­ern­ment or Gov­er­nor God­win Obaseki.”

A top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said the state gov­ern­ment was aware of the ques­tion­ing of Osemwingie­ero by in­ter­pol for an of­fence com­mit­ted be­fore he was ap­pointed by Obaseki.

On the sum of $2m found on the com­mis­sioner, the source said it had yet to be con­firmed whether any money was found on him or not.

•L-R: A for­mer fed­eral min­is­ter, In­no­cent Nwoga; Mike Ahamba, SAN; for­mer Pres­i­dent, Chief Oluse­gun Obasanjo; Imo State Gov­er­nor, Emeka Ihe­dioha, dur­ing a visit by Obasanjo to the gov­er­nor at his coun­try home, Mbutu, in the Aboh Mbaise LGA, in Imo State... on Mon­day. Photo: Imo State Gov­ern­ment

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