By Jethro Ibileke
The Edo State Government has said that the alleged arrest of the State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora, Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, by operatives of the INTERPOL, has nothing to do with Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Osemwingie-Ero was reportedly arrested in France since last month for alleged money laundering, after being found in possession of US$2 million.
He was said to have been detained and queried by INTERPOL.
Some sources had it that the Commissioner was being questioned for an offence he committed several years ago.
Political opponents, however claimed that the money was given to him by Obaseki as he was accompanying him on a foreign trip.
A top government official, who did not want to be named, said the state government was aware of the questioning of Osemwingie-Ero by INTEPOL for “an offence committed before he was appointed by Governor Obaseki.”
On the sum of US$2 million found on the embattled Commissioner, the source said it was yet to be confirmed whether any money was found on him.
However, the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the state government could not confirm the alleged arrest of the Commissioner.
According to him: “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.”