Tuesday, 3 May 2016

$115 million came from stolen crude oil- EFCC

Investigating the poll bribery scandal, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have found out that $115m (N23.29b) came from proceeds of stolen crude oil.

The money in question  was allegedly used as a bribe for officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to alter the results of the 2015 presidential election.

Speaking with The Nation on Monday, May 2, a top EFCC official who pleaded for anonymity said:

“Our operatives have discovered that the $115 million came from stolen crude oil. They got it from former Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

“We will uncover how they came about the stolen crude oil and those used to siphon the oil in order to deny the nation of revenue.”

Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency has reportedly frozen all the accounts of top officials of the INEC and oil chiefs implicated in the poll bribery scandal.

According to another source, the EFCC is in preparation for the arraignment of some suspects, including Nnamdi Okonkwo, the managing director of Fidelity Bank, and some owners of oil companies.

Charges might also be preferred against Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be central to the coordination of the huge bribe given to INEC officials.

“Our operatives are on the trail of members of the cartel behind the theft of crude.

“We have blocked all the accounts of all the INEC officials, bank officials and oil chiefs connected with the poll bribery scandal,” the source said.

Speaking about the owners of the oil firms allegedly involved in the scandal, the source added:

“We have quizzed Leno Adesanya but it is apparent that we have to arrest others this week because they have refused to show up for interrogation. Certainly, we are closing in on more suspects whom we will pick up before the week runs out.”

Those pencilled for trial are Diezani (in absentia), Okonkwo and Fidelity Bank’s head of operations, Martin Izuogbe, Gesil Khan (INEC REC in Cross River state) — for collecting N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe; Fidelia Omoile (electoral officer in Isoko-South local government area of Delta state) — N112,480,000 ; Uluochi Obi Brown (INEC’s administrative secretary in Delta state) — N111,500,000; Edem Okon Effanga (a former deputy director of INEC in Cross River state) — N241,127,000, Immaculata Asuquo (the head of voter education in INEC in Akwa Ibom) —N214,127,000.

“Very soon, we will arraign them in court. Some of them have admitted that they shared out of the bribe sum. Having recovered more than N408.7million from some of the beneficiaries of the slush funds, we are set for trial.

“As for the bank, it even refunded N49.7m profit made from the deal. With this, the culpability of the bank is not doubtful at all.

“Since we have blocked or frozen some accounts, we can recover these ill-gotten cash through court process,” the source said.

Source- The Nation

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