The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, April 21 detained former Finance Minister, Mrs Esther Nenadi Usman, for allegedly receiving N2.5 billion of the N4 billion taken out of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the orders of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in the heat of the 2015 election.
The anti-graft commission also arrested former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Clement Iloh, for obtaining a questionable N316 million from public account.
Usman, who was the Director of Finance of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign, was said to have access to huge cash, some of which the EFCC said came from the CBN.
She is being probed for her role in the withdrawal of billions from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which was paid into the accounts of six chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Goodluck Support Group (GSG).
According to investigators, she allegedly owns an account, titled “Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited” in which a substantial part of the funds was lodged. Cash was disbursed to party chieftains from the account.
Though they have already denied their involvement in the money sharing, other suspected beneficiaries of the cash disbursement spree asides Mrs. Usman are; former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Chief Olu Falae; former Imo State Governor Achike Udenwa; former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri and Okey Ezenwa.
Nenadi Usman is being questioned by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N2.5 billion of the over N4 billion which was transferred out of CBN into various individuals and company’s accounts, and for the N140 million cash was allegedly paid into her Zenith Bank Account in January 2015.
Details of how the funds were disbursed are; Fani-Kayode (N840million); Goodluck Support Group (N320million); Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri (N350million); Nenadi Usman (N140million); and Okey Ezenwa (N100million).
Clement Illoh, on his part, was arrested by the EFCC after N316 million was traced to his Zenith Bank account. During the investigation, EFCC is said to have discovered that N14.1 million was paid to Clement & Bob Associates, a company in which Dr. Illoh is the sole signatory.
Investigations reveal that the sum of N49 million and N13 million were also paid into Clement & Bob Associates account from the now defunct Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE –P.
Dr Illoh has been unable to provide satisfactory answer on how he came about the said N316 million in which he has the sum of N200 million in fixed deposit and over N16 million as balance in Zenith Bank.