Thursday, 28 April 2016

Fidelity Bank MD Arrested For Sharing Diezani’s N23.3bn To Election OfficialsOfficials

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving $115m(N23.3bn) from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Also arrested by the EFCC is the bank’s Head of Operations, Martins Izuogbe, who was said to have been heavily involved in the alleged scam.
The EFCC was said to have discovered the scam 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.

Punch Newspapers reports that ahead of the 2015 presidential election, Diezani sought out Okonkwo to help her handle some cash, which was meant to be shared to electoral officials and groups.

The detective who made the disclosure, was quoted to have said:
“The MD of Fidelity Bank has been arrested and is currently in our custody. During investigations into the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners, we got a major breakthrough as funds disbursed were traced to Fidelity Bank.” 
“We invited the MD, who then confessed to us that during the build-up to the presidential election, Diezani invited him to a meeting in Abuja. 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 report further stated that Diezani’s son, Ugonna Madueke, served as a middleman between the former minister and the MD of the bank.

Ugonna Madueke reportedly sent the names of the beneficiaries of the funds, which included INEC officials and several interest groups as well as electoral officials.
“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.” 
“He may be charged with conspiracy once we are done with investigations,” the source added.

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