Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, may be under pressure to abandon the case of obtaining money under false pretence, which he is trying to press against the former son-in-law of former Aviation Minister, Dumebi Kachikwu, an Abuja-based multi-billionaire businessman.
The decision to abandon the matter, which has resulted in the arrest and interrogation of one more suspect on Thursday, followed advice from legal experts that the case could create serious problems for him if it goes to court.
A source close to the investigation said that both Elumelu, who petitioned the EFCC and the suspect, alleged to have collected the huge sum of money with a view to assisting him to get the Peoples Democratic Party governorship ticket in Delta State were liable under the law.
It was learnt that although a clear case of obtaining money through false pretence had been established as the money was wired through some accounts, the security agents were also worried that a single politician could dole out such an amount just for securing the ticket of his party.
It was also gathered that some close allies of the petitioner had explained to him the implications of pressing ahead with the matter against the suspect, pointing out that he had made a serious mistake that could damage his image if he continues to insist on recovering the money.
It was learnt that after explaining the implications of the matter to the politician, he was considering allowing the ‘sleeping dog to lie’ rather than plunging himself deeper into a messy situation.
Apparently softening his grounds on the matter, the EFCC formally released Kachikwu on bail from detention on Wednesday while it arrested another businessman said to have been linked to N750 million bribery.
As Kachikwu was going home to await further instructions from the anti-graft agency, its operatives on Thursday took into custody, the influential businessman, said to have taken part in the sharing of the huge sum of money.
A top source in the agency said that although he had been granted bail after spending five days in detention, Kachikwu could still be invited for further questioning whenever the need arises in the matter, which was not causing ripples in the ruling PDP and the political circles in Nigeria.