The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last night arrested, on fraud allegations, a former governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa.
Udenwa was accused of receiving N350 million which had been diverted from last year’s presidential campaign of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Elombah.com had reported that the EFCC last month alleged that some directors of the Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Organisation and some ex-ministers received N3.145bn during the campaign. The money, according to the anti-graft agency, emanated from the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The commission said the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, received N840m; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, received N100m; while N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association which played a major role in Jonathan’s campaign.
The EFCC had also said that the former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, got N350m in two tranches while the Director of Finance of the campaign organisation, Nenadi Usman, got N36.9m.
Mr. Udenwa was last night grilled by EFCC investigators for several hours at their headquarters, following which he was released after signing a bond to repay the funds to the federal government within two weeks.
Sources say he admitted collecting the funds from former finance minister Esther Nenadi, who was herself arrested last week and has reportedly paid back massive sums of money.
EFCC it was reported, was extending its probe to all PDP governorship candidates who also received money from the same account.
The EFCC explained that monies were transferred from the account of the CBN to a Federal Government account from which the money was transferred to 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 campaign organisations inaugurated by Jonathan.
The two people who were in charge of funds were the Director of Finance, Nenadi Usman, and a former Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, who played an advisory role. It was also Anenih who insisted that Falae be given N100m.
Some of the groups that received money from the account were the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, the Goodluck Support Group and the zonal chapters of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation.
Some political parties that also collected money from Jonathan are the SDP and Accord Party through Chief Falae and former Governor Rashidi Ladoja respectively.