Diezani’s $115m: Fidelity Bank Co-operating with EFCC, Says Mgt


•Seeks quick resolution of allegations

Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The management of Fidelity Bank Plc has said that it is cooperating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing investigation of its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, and some officials of the bank who were arrested for allegedly receiving $115 million from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The Commission apprehended Okonkwo on Monday and he is said to have been questioned about the lodgement and sharing of the huge amount in the build-up to the 2015 presidential elections.

But in the statement on Thursday, the bank’s management acknowledged that there was transaction and that they are providing the necessary information demanded by the EFCC towards a quick resolution of the issue.

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in the media on investigations into transactions undertaken by the Bank in the normal course of business in 2015.

“The transactions are now the subject matter of investigations by the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”

“We can confirm that the transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators and the Bank is cooperating fully with the authorities on the investigation.

“We assure our numerous stakeholders, including our customers that we are working assiduously towards a quick resolution of the issues.”

Also arrested is the bank’s Head of Operations, Mr. Martins Izuogbe, for his role in the alleged scam, which the anti-graft agency described as unprecedented.

The fraud was said to have been uncovered when the EFCC began investigations into how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1 million.

It was gathered that during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Diezani invited Okonkwo to help her handle some cash, which would be disbursed to electoral officials and groups.