The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered how N3.145b was paid into the accounts of six chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and Goodluck Support Group (GSG) by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
The beneficiaries include a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation 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 Mr. Okey Ezenwa.
According to a source in the anti-graft agency, the cash was paid by the CBN into the account of the Ministry of External Affairs Library, from where it was moved into the account of Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited.
“It was from the Joint Dimension’s account with Zenith Bank that the money was shared to various individuals and organisations for purposes that are not stated,” the source said.
The details of how the money was shared are: Fani-Kayode (N840million); Goodluck Support Group (N320million); Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri (N350million); Nenadi Usman (N36.9million);and Okey Ezenwa(N100million).
Giving an insight into how the funds were remitted into the recipients’ accounts, the source said: “Fani-Kayode allegedly received N840million, paid in three tranches into his Zenith Bank, Maitama branch account with No.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 Goodluck Support Group allegedly received N320million
” Chief Falae allegedly received N100m through Marreco Limited, a company where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account No. 1000627022 on March 25, 2014.
“Both Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri got N350million in two tranches. The first tranche of N150million was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200miilion was credited into their account with Diamond Bank.
“Nenadi Usman was paid N36.9billion through her Zenith Bank account no. 1000158311 on 7, Kachia Road, Kaduna. Ezenwa was paid N100million.”
Investigators are probing why the PDP leaders got the cash.
The source said: “Detectives are trying to decipher the motives for the payments.
“But as things stand, the fact that most of the payments were made in the weeks preceding the last presidential election leaves very little to the imagination.”
“One knotty question that confronts the investigators is the figure behind Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited, the account where the fund was warehoused before being wired to the beneficiaries.
“The shadowy figure could help unravel the mystery surrounding the payments, once the veil is lifted.”