A former governor of Anambra State has been implicated in a $115 million fraud involving a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and a prominent Nigerian bank.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may soon invite erstwhile governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, over the $115 million allegedly received from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, by Fidelity Bank, according to Today News.
But the anti-graft commission is reportedly seeking clarifications from his successor, Governor Willy Obiano.
Sources at the EFCC noted that during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Alison-Madueke invited Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, to help her handle some cash, which would be disbursed to electoral officials and groups.
It was learnt that Okonkwo recently arrested by EFCC told his interrogators that he was under instructions from Obi, believed to be one of the owners of the bank, to go to Alison-Madueke’s residence in Abuja for a “financial transaction that could benefit the bank.”
A source at the EFCC said the transaction of that magnitude couldn’t have been done without Obi’s influence.
Towards the tail end of his tenure, Obi defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and was part of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign team. Investigators in the alleged $115 million money transfer are working under the theory that the said money could only be moved by a bank whose owner is close to the former president’s campaign team.
“Okonkwo told his interrogators that he couldn’t have gone to Alison-Diezani’s place if the deal hadn’t been finalized by top players with connection to his bank,” said a source at the commission.
It was learnt that the current governor of the state also made input in the transaction. Governor Obiano can’t be invited or arrested by EFCC because of his immunity as a governor. It was learnt, however, that representation has been made to the governor for clarification on the matter.
Wilson Uwujaren, head, Media and Publicity, however, feigned ignorance on this development.
He said that he is not yet aware of the new development in the investigation but promised to get back as soon as matters become clearer. He, however, said that the case is still under investigation.
“We may have to invite people, anybody, we feel might give insight into the matter,” he said.
Earlier in the week, the managing director of Fidelity Bank was arrested by the EFCC.
Okonkwo, Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, was reportedly picked up by the EFCC on Wednesday for allegedly receiving $115 million from Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The EFCC also arrested the bank’s Head of Operations, Mr. Martins Izuogbe, for his role in the alleged scam, which the anti-graft agency described as unprecedented.
Reports say that during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Alison-Madueke invited Okonkwo to help her handle some cash, which would be disbursed to electoral officials and groups.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said Okonkwo was being held as part of an investigation into financial transactions made last year in the closing months of the administration led by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Fidelity Bank confirmed that the matter was being investigated by the EFCC and said the transactions were “duly reported as required by the regulators”.