Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, and some officials of the bank have been picked up by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
They are alleged to have received the sum of $115 million from one of the most powerful minister under the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
A certain Ugonna Madueke believed to be the son to Mrs Madueke, was also mentioned in the financial scam.
According to reports, the EFCC also arrested Martins Izuogbe, Fidelity Bank’s Head of Operations for the part he played in the scandalous transaction.
According to an anonymous source, towards build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Diezani invited Okonkwo to help her handle some cash, with the intent that these funds will be shared to various groups and electoral officials.
The source further revealed that the EFCC uncovered the fraud when investigations commenced on how N675.1m between officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Delta, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers states.
The source further revealed that; “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.”
On his own part, Ugonna Madueke had served as an intermediary between the bank and Mrs. Madueke.
The source alleged that Diezani’s son, Ugonna Madueke, served as a middleman between the former minister and the MD of the bank.
Ugonna forwarded a list of individuals and groups to benefit from this fund towards the 2015 presidential election.
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.”
Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank is expected to issue a statement today.
This story was originally reported by the Punch