Agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have discovered a bank account with a heavy amount of stolen money. The bank account which holds the sum of N2.5 billion was opened in the name of a housemaid to former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah.
Two senior Operatives of the EFCC told correspondents of SaharaReporters that the bank account and its huge deposits had been opened and operated without the knowledge of the former minister’s housemaid. This she did in order to prevent anybody from knowing she was the real owner of the allegedly stolen N2.5billion. One EFCC agent familiar with the scandal said:
“Senator Oduah apparently opened the account with her housemaid’s name, image, and details without the housemaid knowing about it”.
Another EFCC source disclosed that Ms. Oduah had been going around to some top officials of the Muhammadu Buhari administration seeking their help to scuttle her impending trial. Last week, she asked for a meeting with EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu, claiming she wanted to meet in her official capacity as a senator.
The two officials of EFCC who spoke to SaharaReporters on the “housemaid” account revealed that Ms Stella Oduah was the single signatory to the account, adding that they were still connecting the dots to uncover how the former minister managed to pull off such a money laundering strategy.
One of the sources made it known that as of last week, the account was still active and contained over N2.5 billion, adding that he was not sure if the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, who is presently traveling in Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, had directed the freezing of the account.
According to sources at the anti-corruption agency, the discovery of the “maid” account meant that the former minister must have stolen as much as N5.6 billion so far from the Aviation Ministry’s funds during her ministerial term.
A top official of the anti-graft agency stated on Saturday, July 2 that the former female minister would be brought before the court soon.
While the EFCC source was speaking, he said:
“Our findings indicated that the ex-female minister opened an account in the name of her housemaid and with her photograph. But the signature in the account is that of the ex-minister.
“At the time we made the discovery, over N2.5billion was in the account. But the volume of transactions in the account has been huge.
“We are suspecting that the ex-minister did not put the housemaid in the picture of what she wanted to do with her passport photograph.
“We have established that the ex-minister has been drawing funds from the said account. We have retrieved records of all transactions by the ex-Minister. We will soon bring her to justice no matter how long it takes to follow due process.”
Senator Stella Oduah, now a senator representing Anambra State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was involved in a BMW scam during her ministerial tenure in 2015 when she bought two ostensibly bulletproof BMW cars at $1.6 million (or $800,000 apiece).
In August 2015, Ms. Oduah filed an application at a Federal High Court to stop the EFCC from investigating the allegations and a controversial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, initially granted the order she sought.
However, in February 2016, after Justice Yunusa was transferred out of Lagos, another federal high court judge vacated the order, permitting the EFCC to carry on with its investigation.