Elder statesman and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Chief Olu Falae has been roped into the ongoing investigations of misappropriation of $15 Billion meant for arms procurement.
Falae, who was quizzed on Thursday by the anti-graft agency, had in February admitted to collecting N100m from a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
The money was reportedly given to Falae to get his party, the SDP, to endorse the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, and campaign for him.
However, the N100m was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser, under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The money, which Falae got was said to be part of the N3.145bn transferred from the account of the ONSA to the bank account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by the Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.
An investigator at the anti-graft agency speaking anonymously said that Falae was grilled for several hours and then allowed to go home on the condition that he would return in the next two weeks.
The source said Falae admitted to receiving the fund but maintained that he did not know that the money emanated from the ONSA.
The detective said:
“Chief Falae came to our office based on an invitation. He told us the story of how he received N100m based on the instruction of Anenih. However, our investigations revealed that Falae only transferred N60m to his party, SDP.”
“The remaining N40m was personally withdrawn by him, which means it was not used for campaign. When he was confronted, he started appealing to us that he did not want to be detained or taken to court, so we told him to go and bring the N40m first.”
“He said we should give him some time, so we have given him two weeks to go and bring the money and then report back to us.”
Asked if the EFCC was willing to charge Falae having frozen his account, the detective said,
“Chief Olu Falae, is a former Permanent Secretary and Minister of Finance. There is no way he would not have known that the deal was shady.”
“If he really wanted to use the money for campaign, why didn’t he ask that the N100m be paid into the account of the SDP? Also, why didn’t he question the source of the fund when it did not emanate from the account of the PDP? Why did he keep N40m to himself?”
“We are not victimising any political party or investigating the source of campaign funds. All we are doing is tracing the billions of dollars stolen from the ONSA account. Once you return the money, you will have no problem.”
Chief Olu Falae said:
“With all the money PDP has and having spent 16 years in power, how would I have known that the money was from the arms deal? No reference was made to the arms deal. So, they should not bring me into the arms issue.”