The international police organisation, (INTERPOL) has faulted media reports, that it arrested Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, Edo state commissioner for arts, culture, tourism and diaspora affairs, in France for money laundering.
The body, in an email sent to The Nigerian Observer, in response to his request for clarification on the reported arrest, said it did not arrest Osemwingie-Ero.
“INTERPOL does not make arrests itself. Any arrest is done by the national authorities in accordance with national legislation”, the body stated in the email
It however advised, the French authorities be contacted in relation to the reported arrest.
There were reports in the media on the arrest and detention of the Edo commissioner by INTERPOL, in the European country since November for being in possession of $2m, alleged to have been given to him by Governor Godwin Obaseki.
But, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, debunked the allegation, exonerating the governor from the reported arrest.
Mr Osagie added, the state government could not confirm the alleged arrest of the commissioner.
“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”, he said in a statement
Meanwhile, the French agency responsible for checkmating money laundering, known as Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) was yet to respond to an enquiry on the arrest.
Contrary to wide believe, INTERPOL’s general secretariat does not send its operatives on undercover assignments, as investigations and arrests are carried out by the police in their own country.
Source: The Nigerian Observer