Punch Newspaper - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced N3.145bn transferred to the private accounts of some members of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation.
According to detectives at the EFCC, the money emanated from the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria and was transferred to the account of a company, Joint Dimensions Limited, and then sent to various accounts.
Authorities of the anti-graft commission said out of the money, the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, received N840m.
According to the documents sighted by our correspondent, the money was deposited into Fani-Kayode’s Zenith bank account, Maitama Branch with number 1004735721 on February 19, 2015.
The detectives said a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, received N100m through a company, Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account number 1000627022 on March 25, 2014.
According to the documents, N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association which played a major role in Jonathan’s campaign.
A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, according to the documents, got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond bank.
A source at the anti-graft agency who pleaded not to be named because he is not authorised to speak said, “The money was paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria 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.
“Fani-Kayode was the chief beneficiary of the disbursement as he allegedly received a whooping N840m, paid in three tranches into his Zenith bank, Maitama branch account with number 1004735721.
“The first tranche of payment involving N350m hit the account on February 19, 2015. Another N250m was also paid into the account on February19, 2015 while N240m was similarly credited to the account a month later; precisely, March 19, 2015.
“The balance in this account as of December 31, 2015 was N189, 402.72.”
The detectives added that the Director of Finance of the campaign organisation, Nenadi Usman, also got N36.9m through her Zenith bank account with number 1000158311 on 7, Kachia Road, Kaduna.
Presidential Campaign Coordinator of President Goodluck Jonathan in Anambra State, Chief Okey Ezenwa, who is also the brother-in-law to a former Rivers State Governor, Chief Peter Odili, also got N100m, according to the source.
He added, “But as things stand, the fact that most of the payments were made in the weeks preceding the last presidential elections leaves very little to the imagination. Yet, one knotty question that confronts the investigators is the unknown figure behind Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited and the account where the money was warehoused before being wired to sundry beneficiaries. The shadowy figure could help unravel the mystery shrouding the payments, once the veil is lifted.”
However, Fani-Kayode told our correspondent on the telephone that he never received money from the CBN.
Rather, he said the monies that were spent were received from Usman who was the director of finance of the campaign organisation.
The former Minister of Aviation said he never spent government funds but was told by Usman that the monies were sourced from private donations.
He said, “I served as the director of publicity and I was told to set up an account for the directorate, which I did. I never received money from the CBN but like all the other directors, we received money from the director of finance.
“I was assured that the monies were not public funds but were sourced from private individuals. I never knowingly spent government money all through. The monies were spent specifically on the campaigns. The accounts were audited and we were commended by the President.”
All attempts to get Usman proved abortive as her phone indicated that it was switched off.
Similarly, the phone number of Falae indicated that it was switched off when our correspondent attempted to reach him for comment.
However, the former SGF had said he received money to campaign for Jonathan through a former Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih
When contacted on the telephone, Udenwa told our correspondent that he never received any money as he did not even operate a Zenith bank account.
“I don’t operate a Zenith bank account, so, I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said.