The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered a N3.145 fraud involving some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Those indicted in the latest scandal are a former Minister of Aviation and Director of Media and Publicity for the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae; a former Finance of Minister, Mrs. Nenadi Usman; former Imo State governor, Achike Udenwa; former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri and Okey Ezenwa Sources at the EFCC said last night that fresh evidence showed that the prominent politicians allegedly shared the N3.145 billion in the build up to the last presidential elections.
According to the source, who pleaded anonymity, the money was paid by the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) into the account of Ministry of External Affairs Library, from where it was moved into the account of Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited.
“It was from the Joint Dimension’s account with Zenith Bank that the money was shared to various individuals and organisations for purposes that are not stated,” the source said. He further said that investigators found out Fani-Kayode “was the chief beneficiary of the disbursement as he allegedly received a whooping N840 million, paid in three tranches into his Zenith Bank, Maitama branch account with No.1004735721.”
He continued: “The first tranche of payment involving N350 million hit the account on February 19, 2015. Another N250 million was also paid into the account on February19, 2015 while N240 million was similarly credited to the account a month later; precisely, March 19, 2015.”
But the source added that the balance on the account as at December 31, 2015 was N189,402.72 The source also said that the Goodluck Support Group allegedly received N320 million while Falae allegedly received N100 million through Marreco Limited, a company where he is chairman.
“The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc. account No.1000627022 on March 25, 2014,” the source stated. Both Udenwa and Onwuliri got N350 million in two tranches. The first tranche of N150 million was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015.
The second tranche of N200 million was credited into their account with Diamond bank. “Nenadi Usman took her own share through her Zenith Bank account no. 1000158311 on 7, Kachia Road, Kaduna,” the source said. The former minister was credited with N36.9 million while Ezenwa got N100million.
It was gathered that the EFCC is still investigating what was the motive for the sharing of the money. The source added: “But as things stand, the fact that most of the payments were made in the weeks preceding the last presidential elections leaves very little to the imagination.
“Yet, one knotty question that confronts the investigators is the figure behind Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited, the account where the fund was warehoused before being wired to sundry beneficiaries.
The shadowy figure could help unravel the mystery shrouding the payments, once the veil is lifted.” But contacted last night, Fani-Kayode insisted that the money paid into his account was for the presidential campaign sourced from private sources not public fund.
“I was asked to open an account for the Directorate of Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation. The Director of Finance of the campaign paid money into my account for me to run my directorate for the campaign.
“I asked where the money came from. I was told that the money came from private sources and that no public funds were involved. The company that sent the money into my account was a private company operated by the Director of Finance of the campaign, Mrs. Nenadi Usman,” Fani-Kayode said