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Diezani’s N24b Payout: EFCC grills Anyanwu, Ahamba over N700m cash

…Put bullet in my head if I’m guilty — Anyanwu

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has quizzed two leading politicians in connection with the $115 million cash allegedly disbursed by Fidelity Bank on the instruction of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Competent sources in the commission confirmed to Vanguard, last night, that the duo of Senator Chris Anyanwu and a legal luminary, Mike Ahamba, were quizzed for many hours, yesterday, to explain what they did with the N700 million they allegedly received out of the Diezani cash.

Chris Anyanwu and Mike Ahamba
Chris Anyanwu and Mike Ahamba

The two PDP leaders were reportedly invited to the Enugu Office of the EFCC on Wednesday and questioned by the operatives on the said fund but granted administrative bail and asked to report back the following day for further investigation.

A top source in the commission said that the two politicians, who were working for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the time, received the N700 million from the Ikenegbu Layout branch of Fidelity Bank, Owerri.

“What we want them to explain to us is simple: Who authorised them to collect the huge sum of money and for what purpose did they receive the money?

“We believe that the money the two politicians received was from the former minister’s cash and meant to compromise the last general election in favour of a particular party. If they have any different position, they should tell us,” the official said.

The EFCC had, last week, arrested the bank chief executive who is now relieved of his post, for not reporting the receipt of the huge cash of $115 million from four oil companies and Diezani, to the commission as required by law.

But the bank has denied the claim, saying that the amount was duly reported to the Nigerian Financial and Intelligence Unit, NFIU.

Diezani is said to have summoned the bank chief to her Abuja home and told him to prepare to receive foreign currency running into billions of Naira from four companies and to convert same to Naira and pay them to designated beneficiaries on her behalf.

A day after the instruction from her, four companies stormed the bank with various amounts of cash in dollars and were promptly received by the former bank CEO.

A breakdown of the funds given by the EFCC shows that Actus Integrated paid in $17,884, Northern Belt Gas Company slotted in $60m, Midwestern Oil and Gas, $9.5m while Laitan Adesanya paid $1.35million. Diezani on her own reportedly handed in $26 million cash.

It was learned that shortly after paying in the cash, Diezani’s son, Ugonna, now wanted by the EFCC in connection with the deal and others, approached the detained MD and furnished him with the list of beneficiaries of the cash as instructed by her mother.

A top official of the commission confirmed to Vanguard, last night, that the man had made useful confession to operatives.

The source did not, however, say when the bank official would be charged to court or if he would refund the money to the government.

Fidelity Bank has said it was willing to cooperate fully with the EFCC in the investigation and had assured its teeming customers of adequate protection.

Anyanwu denies role in Diezani’s alleged $115m loot

Meanwhile, Senator Chris Anyanwu has denied ever being part of the sharing of the $115 million allegedly distributed by erstwhile petroleum minister, Mrs. Deiziani Allison-Madueke, challenging anyone with evidence to the contrary to put a bullet to her head.

Senator Anyanwu speaking on telephone said: “I had just joined the PDP and those who rejoined were not seen as the mainstream PDP and they had this thing about me being a journalist and whenever I came, they just shrunk. They just pulled away.

“I was not part of them and I was not assigned to share money and I was not there when they took their money and I did not go where they took their money and I did not get any money and that is the truth. It is nonsense to be associating me with this. I won’t shut up and allow people damage my reputation. Nobody is going to tell me that I ate what I didn’t see or saw what I didn’t see or touched what I didn’t touch. I won’t accept that nonsense.

“I believe that Udenwa and their major players who were in charge of those things had their answers. If anybody claims that he saw me where they were distributing their money and saw me touch their money, let him look me in the eye and say so. If they are able to prove that I was part of the whole thing or touched their money, that I was part of sharing the money or spending their money, put a bullet on my head. It is ridiculous.”


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.