SaharaReporters conducted a poll on its Twitter page asking followers if the United States government should deport Musiiu Obanikoro if Nigeria requests his extradition. An overwhelming 78 percent of the 2452 participants in the poll answered, “yes,” while only 9 percent answered, “no” and 13 percent, “I don’t care.”
Should the United States deport Musiliu Obanikoro [@MObanikoro] if Nigeria requests his extradition?— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) June 16, 2016
The former Minister of State for Defence has been under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his involvement in rigging the 2014 Ekiti State gubernatorial election. Operatives from the anti-graft agency subsequently raided two of his upscale Lagos homes on Tuesday and carted away valuables.
After President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration in 2015, Mr. Obanikoro fled Nigeria out of fear of prosecution. He has been seen in several places throughout the US and was most recently spotted at his graduation ceremony at Oglethorpe University in Georgia.
According to sources from the US Department of Justice and an international legal expert, Mr. Obanikoro can be extradited if Nigeria requests it. Mr. Obanikoro’s eligibility for extradition had been unclear, as he holds dual citizenship in Nigeria and the US. But SaharaReporters reached out to international lawyer Roger Clark, who confirmed that “the United States has no problem extraditing its nationals provided there is a treaty.”
In light of these developments, Mr. Obanikoro, in an interview with Premium Times, dared the EFCC to petition the US government to extradite him, calling his investigation a "charade." He said the US justice system is unbiased and fair and that the world would see his innocence if he was granted extradition.
Mr. Obanikoro, however, is not the only one who wants to see himself extradited, as a majority of followers of SaharaReporters’ Twitter page expressed their support for his deportation and extradition.
“They should deport him as soon as possible to answer charges leveled against him. That’s the right thing to do,” said user @Yobe_Things.
They should deport him as soon as possible to answer charges levelled against him.Thats the right thing to do.— Aisha A.S. (@Yobe_Things) June 16, 2016
“Yes, of course. If Obanikoro is clean as he says, he would’ve returned long ago!” said Anthonio_59765.
Yes of course if obanikoro is clean as he says he would ve returned long ago!— Anthonio owabie (@Anthonio_59765) June 16, 2016
Other users echoed these sentiments, saying he should be deported “sharply” and “without delay.”