EFCC Probe Pro-Jonathan Group Over N320m

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The Punch reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced N320m to the account of the Goodluck Support Group, a conglomeration of campaign groups, driving former President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid for the 2015 presidential poll.

The group, which coordinated over 100 pro-Jonathan groups during the electioneering, was headed by Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali.

The money, it was learnt, emanated from the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria and was distributed to the group.

A source at the EFCC, who pleaded not to be named because he was not authorised to speak, said the money emanated from the CBN’s account and went into the account of the Ministry of External Affairs Library, from where it was moved into the account of the 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,” the source said.

The JTDNL account was coordinated by the Director of Finance of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Nenadi Usman.

Usman, a former minister, who the commission accused of collecting N36.9m through her Zenith Bank account no. 1000158311, is said to be in the United States.

However, a reliable source said that the money was approved by the Presidency as there was a memo signed by the Permanent Secretary at the Villa, authorising that the money be paid by the CBN.

Meanwhile, the commission has begun investigations into the fresh contract scam involving the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Last week, the presidential committee which investigated how contracts were awarded and executed, in a report indicted about 300 companies and over 12 dignitaries.

So far, the commission has traced N300m to the immediate-past Chairman of the House of Representatives on Security and Intelligence, Bello Matawalle, whose name featured on the list.

The ex-lawmaker was among those indicted for allegedly receiving payments without contractual agreements, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

A reliable source at the EFCC stated that Matawalle allegedly used his position as the chairman of the committee overseeing the affairs of the ONSA to receive N300m from the agency.

However, the anti-graft agency said the money was shared among members of the PDP caucus at the House ahead of last year’s general elections.

The source said the method of getting money out of the ONSA was to conjure a fictitious contract after which funds would be given to the individual involved.

He said, “Investigations revealed that many fictitious contracts were approved a few months to the 2015 elections. In order to cover their tracks, some officials of the ONSA approved some fictitious contracts, which were referred to them by the Presidency.

“Money was then transferred to these people but the terms of the contracts were never met because there was no contract in the first place.

“Investigations revealed that Matawalle received N300m from the ONSA and the money was shared among members of the PDP in the House. The funds were to assist them with their campaigns and to also campaign for former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

Similarly, the EFCC traced over N300m to one Mrs. Oluwatoyin Oluwagbayi, a former Special Assistant to Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, who is the wife of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

It was also alleged that she received N300m from the ONSA through her company.

However, one of her associates confirmed that she received money but refused to state the amount, explaining that the money was given to some selected PDP National Assembly candidates to assist them with their elections.

The source said, “She received money from the Presidency but she never knew that the money was from the ONSA. We have a list of how the money was spent and all those who collected the money and we spent it judiciously.

“The money was given to her by the Presidency. We were thus surprised to see her name on the list of those who received contracts from the ONSA. We were not in a position to ask the Presidency where the money came from.”

 

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