The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is questioning some INEC officials who received more than 23 billion naira from some oil companies during the 2015 presidential elections. The money was meant for officials of INEC who EFFC says were paid so as to alter election results in favor of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
EFCC’s investigations revealed that all 36 INEC resident electoral commissioners were in one way or the other involved in the 23 billion naira scandal. On commencement of the investigations, some INEC officials rushed to EFFC and made some refunds. So far, about 410 million naira have been returned.
Besides INEC officials, the EFCC has also forwarded invitations to oil companies and banks that participated in either the distribution or contribution of the largess.
The investigations revealed that the former the former minister of petroleum resources Mrs. Alisson Madueke, was directed by Goodluck Jonathan, to source for funds from her ministry. In return, Alisson Maduake instructed oil companies to contribute about 20 million naira each. The transactions was facilitated by Fidelity bank. One of the oil firms fingered in the bribery saga is believed to be owned by James Ibori, who is serving a jail term in the United Kingdom.
An EFFC source who preferred not to disclose his identity said: “Our investigation into the N23.29billion bribe has reached a critical stage. Six teams are working round the clock in all the geopolitical zones. The top officials of Fidelity Bank in custody have made statements, including the list of all beneficiaries and bank details of payments made to them.
“If these clues are proven, they may eventually face trial for money laundering. We will surely interact with these oil magnates. Some oil companies are under surveillance for their covert operation in diverting taxes and revenue meant for the Federal Government to fund campaigns. You can now understand why some of them were given tax waivers.”
On why Fidelity Bank was roped into the investigations, the EFCC source stated that: “While scrutinizing records, we discovered that Fidelity Bank made a profit of N49.7million from the disbursement transactions made in all its branches nationwide. The management of the bank on Thursday refunded the profit while we are continuing investigation on other funds.
“Some former and serving INEC officials in Oyo and Ogun have paid back N359million to EFCC. What happened was that while N802m was voted for bribery of INEC officials and NGOs in Oyo State to change presidential poll results, about N629m was dished out in Ogun State.
“But some of these beneficiaries in Oyo and Ogun were suspicious of the sources of the funds. They cooperated and went to the designated Fidelity Bank branches and collected the cash. Instead of spending it, they sought the service of lawyers who advised them to open accounts to keep the cash in case there are issues in the future.