The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigation team reported on Monday that they uncovered proofs showing that a payment of N3.145 billion was made into the bank accounts of six prominent politicians mostly from the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Goodluck Support Group from the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) weeks before the presidential election of 2015.
According to a detective at the EFCC, who pleaded anonymity, the money was paid by CBN into the account of the Ministry of External Affairs Library, from where it was moved to the account of a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited. It was from the account of Joint Dimensions that the money was eventually distributed for an undisclosed purpose, to different organisations and the individual accounts of a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and leader of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae; a former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman; a former Imo State Governor, Achike Udenwa; a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri and politician, Mr. Okey Ezenwa.
The money in question was shared thus:
- Fani-Kayode (N840million);
- Goodluck Support Group (N320million);
- Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri (N350million);
- Nenadi Usman (N36.9million);and
- Okey Ezenwa (N100million).
Mr. Fani-Kayode, who allegedly carted away a major part of the the disbursement, received the payment in three parts into his Zenith Bank, Maitama branch, with number 1004735721.
“The first tranche of N350million hit the account on February 19, 2015; N250milion was also paid into the account on February19, 2015 while N240million was paid on March 19, 2015. The balance on this account as at 31st December, 2015 was N189, 402.72.”
The second chief beneficiary was Goodluck Support Group which is alleged to have received N320million. The group led by Rufai Alkali, a professor and then special adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan on political matters, played a significant role in Jonathan’s campaign.
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According to the EFCC investigator, Chief Olu Falae was blessed with N100m through the account of Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was deposited into the United Bank for Africa Plc account of the company with the number 1000627022, on March 25, 2014.
Both Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri received N350 million in two parts. The first portion of N150 million was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015 while the second portion of N200 miilion was credited into their account with Diamond Bank, said the source.
As the EFCC investigator said, the sum of N36.9 billion was paid to Nenadi Usman through her Zenith Bank account no. 1000158311 on 7, in a branch located at Kachia Road, Kaduna.
The coordinator of the Jonathan/Sambo 2015 presidential campaign in Anambra state, Okey Ezenwa,who is also the brother-in-law to a former Rivers State Governor, Chief Peter Odili, allegedly got N100 million.
The source who disclosed that they were still investigating to find out the motive behind the funds sharing added that,
“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 unknown figure behind Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited and the account where the money was warehoused before being wired to sundry beneficiaries. The shadowy figure could help unravel the mystery shrouding the payments, once the veil is lifted.”
However, when correspondents of both Premium Times and Punch contacted Fani-Kayode, he said there was never a time he received money from CBN but rather, that the funds that were used were paid into his account by Nenadi Usman, who was director of finance of the Goodluck Jonathan campaign organisation. According to him,
“I served as the director of publicity and the campaign asked me to open an account for my campaign directorate, which I did. I never received money from the CBN but like all the other directors, we received money from the director of finance, they paid the money in for the assignment I was given.
I asked them where the money came from. They said it was from private contribution for the Jonathan campaign. I believed them, and I had no way of knowing exactly where the money came from.
As far as I’m concerned, it was campaign funds, and the money was used for the purpose for which it was meant. The accounts were audited and we were commended by the President.”
Also, the former SGF, Olu Falae, told Punch that he received money to campaign for Jonathan through a former Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, while Udenwa said he never received any money as he did not even operate a Zenith bank account. He said;
“I don’t operate a Zenith bank account, so, I don’t know what you are talking about.”