Thursday 28 April 2016

Fidelity Bank MD/CEO Arrested Over $115m Shared by Ex-Minister Diezani to INEC Officials, Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the managing director and chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, for allegedly receiving $115m from a former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Some other bank officials were equally arrested.
Okonkwo is said to have been invited by the former minister to help handle some cash which was to be subsequently disbursed to electoral officials and groups. According to an EFCC source, the fraud was uncovered when the anti-graft agency began investigations into how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1m.

The EFCC source said, “Diezani told him that some companies would deposit some funds in his bank and that she would give him further instructions on how the funds would be disbursed.
“The first company, Auctus Integrated, deposited $17,884,000 into the bank. The second company, Northern Belt Gas Company, deposited $60m while another company, Midwestern Oil and Gas, deposited $9.5m. A fourth company, Leno Laitan Adesanya, deposited $1.85m while the MD himself received $26m in cash.”
The source further alleged that Diezani’s son, Ugonna Madueke, later served as a middleman between the former minister and the MD of the bank.
He said, “The MD said it was Diezani’s son that sent him a list of beneficiaries which included several INEC officials and election monitors across the 36 states. Diezani specifically instructed that the funds be disbursed at least a day or two before the elections. The total amount of money was $115m and Diezani told the bank to convert the funds into naira, which was about N23.3bn at the time.
“However, the suspects told us that the volume of money was too big and they had problems converting the funds. So, Diezani told the bank MD to use the bank’s funds and hold on to the dollars as collateral and that after elections, the bank could use the dollars to replace the bank funds.”
The EFCC official also told Punch newspaper that the bank MD may be charged with conspiracy upon the conclusion of investigations.
Ex-minister Diezani who is believed to be currently battling cancer in the United Kingdom, was in 2015 arrested by the National Crimes Agency in the UK over allegations that border on money laundering.

Via: Punch

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