A report by The Nation has detailed how over N1billion has been refunded back to the coffers of the EFCC by former public officials who have been indicted by the anti-graft agency.
According to the report, the cash is part of the N23.29billion allegedly pumped into the failed bid former President Goodluck Jonathan to return to power in last year’s general elections.
The funds were said to have emanated from the office of the former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke. There are also refund pledges running into billions of naira, a source squealed.
The refunds came yesterday, June 9, from two former ministers, three INEC officials and a coordinator of election observers. Besides, no fewer than 36 INEC officials have been implicated in the campaign cash fraud.
A source who gave more details under the condition of anonymity said the EFCC has recovered more than N1billion cash from those who shared in the bribe.
“In all the six geopolitical zones, most of those quizzed have admitted benefiting in one way or the other from the cash. Our investigation revealed that there appears to be a pattern of allocating about N450million to each of the 36 states and FCT.
“Some of the beneficiaries have paid back; others made pledges and some are still meeting in groups to refund what was allocated to them.
“So far, we have recovered over N1billion in cash and more than N2billion frozen in some accounts nationwide. We have given them deadline and they seem to be willing to pay back,” the source said.
The source revealed further that:“In continuation of the ongoing investigation of some INEC officials in Maiduguri and two former ministers, the Advance Fee Fraud/Extractive Industries Unit handling the investigation was able to recover N62,750,000.
“Investigation is ongoing in the matter as other people are expected to come for questioning. The serving INEC officials are detained in the EFCC office.”
The report further revealed that the number of serving INEC officials quizzed by the EFCC on the scandal has risen to 36.
“So far, we have questioned more than 36 INEC staff but we are still counting. We are expecting more names from our zonal offices in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Gombe, Kano and Lagos.
“At the end of our investigation, we will refer the list of those indicted to INEC management for appropriate disciplinary action.
“This is without prejudice to the fact that the law will take its course. Some of the INEC officials may face trial,” the source concluded.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s former Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Mohammed Umar (rtd) has been arraigned in court on a 7-count charge of money laundering filed by the EFCC.
The EFCC recently arraigned Mohammed Umar, on alleged charges of corruption, even as the former CAS has sought to settle the issues raised outside the court.
Umar was the Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria between September 2010 and December 2012 before Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh took over.