$115m Lodgement: EFCC Grills Liyel Imoke, Imasuen, Ize-Iyamu

  • Yuguda: How I shared N450m PDP guber aspirant faults state govt

Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in PortHarcourt, Rivers State, yesterday grilled the former Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, for his alleged involvement in the N500 million collected by the Cross River State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ntufam John Okon.

The money was said to be from the $115million purportedly lodged by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, with Fidelity Bank Plc in controversial circumstances during the 2015 electioneering period.

Imoke, according to EFCC operatives, arrived at the Port Harcourt’s office of the commission by 10:15 a.m. yesterday and was immediately interrogated.

Also quizzed yesterday was the former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Imasuen, as well as an Edo State governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who are undergoing interrogation for allegedly collecting the sum of N700 million from the same $115million Diezani’s funds.

According to the sources, N700 million was reportedly collected from the Mission Road branch of Fidelity Bank Plc. in Benin-City in March, 2015.

They claimed that Ize-Iyamu, who was the PDP Presidential Campaign Coordinator during the 2015 presidential election, admitted to collecting the money from the bank.

He was said to have told the EFCC interrogators that he went to the bank on that fateful day with Imasuen and a former House of Representatives member representing Edo Central, Tony Azeigbemi (who is yet to be arrested by the EFCC), and the money was handed over to them by an official of the bank.

According to the commission, both Imasuen and Ize-Iyamu signed for the collection of the money.
Investigations by the EFCC further showed that the two politicians conveyed the money from the bank in a bullion van to the residence of a top politician in Edo State.

The commission was said to be on the trail of the politicians for the recovery of the money.
“Both Imasuen and Ize-Iyamu are in the custody of the EFCC and would be charged to court soon,” the source stated.
Meanwhile, former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, yesterday disclosed his alleged involvement in the sharing of the sum of N450million allocated to Zamfara out of the $115million deposited in Fidelity Bank Plc. by Alison-Madueke.

Yuguda is one of the former ministers in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan who is being investigated by the anti-graft agency.

In his statement yesterday, he admitted to have collected a total of N450 million in his capacity as a chieftain of the PDP in his state.
The former minister, who hails from Zamfara State, also stated that he supervised the sharing of the money in his home.

According to him, a former Secretary to the Zamfara State Government and member of PDP Presidential Campaign Committee 2015, Aminu Ahmed Nahuche, collected the sum of N450 million allocated to Zamfara State from Fidelity Bank Plc.

The former minister is still under investigation at the EFCC Kano zonal office.
Meanwhile, Ize-Iyamu has reacted to the comments by the Edo State Government through Commissioner for Information, Prince Kassim Afegbua, saying that he sympathised with him (Afegbua) for the harrowing experience of being forced to indulge in bare-faced lies and deliberate misrepresentation of facts that are in the public domain by his “iconoclastic” master, Adams Oshiomhole.

In a statement by his aide, Daniel Osa-Ogbegie, Ize-Iyamu said he was not facing any charge whatsoever by the EFCC.

“For the avoidance of any misrepresentation and silly innuendoes by political spin doctors and mischief makers, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was invited with other stakeholders by the EFCC to visit their Port Harcourt zonal offices to provide information on PDP campaign funds for Edo PDP. Pastor Ize-Iyamu visited the Port Harcourt offices of the EFCC on May 10, 2016 to give the said information and he did that to the best of his knowledge and has since come back to Benin City. Pastor Ize-Iyamu was invited as coordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan campaign in Edo State and being the Coordinator of Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign in Edo State, this invitation should not surprise anybody, as other similar coordinators from other states were invited by the EFCC.”