ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited the duo of Senator Chris Anyanwu and Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) over allegation of N700 million money laundering in connection with the ongoing investigation into the $15 million alleged to have been logged by former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, in Fidelity Bank last year.
The money, which is currently being investigated, is said to have been given to Anyanwu and Ahamba to bribe the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the 2015 general elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A reliable source from the Commission told Sundiata Post that the duo were invited by the EFCC Enugu office on Thursday for questioning over the matter.
Both of them, along with another PDP chieftain, Chief Achike Udenwa, former governor of Imo State, were reported to have collected the money from the Fidelity Bank, Ikenegbu Layout Branch, Owerri, Imo State capital.
The source said: “The Enugu office of the Commission invited two persons for questioning with regard to the $115m Diezani Alison-Madueke’s scam laundered through the Fidelity Bank. One Senator Chris Anyanwu and prominent lawyer, Michael Ahamba (SAN).
“They were invited over a N700 million money laundering case linked to the Fidelity Bank issue. The duo and Achike Udenwa allegedly collected the money from the Ikenegbu Layout Branch of the bank just before the 2015 Presidential Elections. The money was meant for INEC officials, for disbursement to bribe INEC officials.”
In furtherance of its investigations into the $115million scam involving the suspended Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, the EFCC operatives, have also arrested the Cross Rivers State chairman of the PDP, Mr. Ntufam John Okon.
Okon was said to have been arrested on Thursday in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, for collecting a sum of N500m, as his share of the booty.
Sources said that investigations by the EFCC showed that Okon collected the money on March 26, 2015 at a branch of Fidelity Bank in Calabar.
“The money was placed in the transit account at the Corporate Headquarters of Fidelity Bank but cash was made available to Okon in the Calabar branch of the bank. Okon is in the custody of the EFCC and would be charged to court soon,” the source said.
The Commission had two weeks ago, apprehended the suspended Fidelity Bank managing director for questioning over the lodgement and sharing of the huge amount in the build-up to the 2015 presidential elections.
The fraud was said to have been uncovered when the EFCC began investigations into how officials of INEC in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1m.
It was gathered that during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Mrs Alison-Madueke invited Okonkwo to help her handle some cash, which would be disbursed to electoral officials and groups.
The embattled bank CEO was alleged to have met the former oil minister at her Abuja home, where he was instructed on how the money would be lodged in the bank and would be shared among key political actors ahead of the elections.