Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Lucky Imasuen, and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who were invited by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s N700 million campaign funds for the state, yesterday narrated what transpired during their invitation to Port Harcourt by the anti-graft agency.
Addressing journalists in Benin, Ize-Iyamu said since the invitation, he had been inundated with telephone calls that he was in EFCC’s custody over allegation of the use of presidential fund during the last election.
“As you can see, I am in Benin and in my house. It is true that I was invited by the EFCC through a letter. The invitation was not to me alone, as others were invited across the country.
“I am sure many of you are aware that I was State Coordinator for Jonathan in Edo. EFCC invited me to throw light on the funds that came. I went to Port- Harcourt. I met Imasuen there. They mentioned Chief Tony Aziegbemi and another man who could help them.
“The bottom line is that they wanted to know what happened to the N700 million sent to Edo through Fidelity Bank. They said their records showed three of us signed for the money and wanted to know what we did with the money.
“We told them how the bank made us to sign a piece of paper to enable the bank release the money. It was the bank officials that sent the money through their bullion van to our leader’s house from where the money was shared to the 18 local governments for the election logistics.
“The state chairman of the party had worked out the logistics but it was clear that the money could not cover the election. Our leader brought out the difference.
“The chairmen of the local governments signed for the money and what they signed for was more than the N700 million. I, as the Coordinator gave the EFCC a copy of what the chairmen signed for.
“They asked me if as a Coordinator I took some money. I said no, I could not taken money meant for election, moreso when I had an ambition.
“I must confess that the EFCC officials were very professional, very courteous. I saw many people from other parts of the country and I believe it was national and I cannot accuse anybody for my invitation.”
When asked to name the leader he referred to, Ize-Iyamu said he could not do so in order not to jeopardise investigation, even as he said the EFCC knew the leader.
Also in his comment, Imasuen who was former deputy governor of the state, and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), corroborated Ize-Iyamu’s account and emphasised that no kobo of the N700 million was given to him, as he was only called upon by party’s state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih to sign as a witness.
Imasuen said: “I don’t know the leader where the money was taken. EFCC will find that out.”