Diezani: Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank MD, returns N40m to EFCC

…May spend weekend in Commission’s cell
Oscarline Onwuemenyi
30 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, has returned N40 million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Diezani

Diezani

The said N40 million represents the interest accrued on the sum the bank’s managing director collected from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is under investigation by the EFCC.

Fidelity Bank’s MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, and some officials of the bank including the bank’s head of operations, Mr Martins Izuogbe, were on Wednesday arrested by the EFCC for their role in the alleged scam.

A source in the anti-graft agency, who disclosed this to our correspondent, added that Okonkwo and other suspects are still under EFCC custody as they are still being quizzed to ascertain their level of involvement with the former minister.

According to the source, the outcome of the current investigation will enable the commission to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion and prosecute the suspects accordingly.

Alison-Madueke was said to have invited Okonkwo to assist her in handling the said $115million which was distributed to certain INEC officials and groups during the build up to the 2015 presidential election.

But the bubble bust when the EFCC began investigations into how officials of INEC in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675million from Diezani’s largesse.

Also, following the arrest of the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving $115 million from former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the bank has stated that the said transaction was duly reported to the regulators.

However, in a statement issued yesterday, the bank said the transactions were undertaken by the bank in the normal course of business in 2015.

“The transactions are now the subject of investigations by the EFCC. We can confirm that the transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators and the bank is cooperating fully with the authorities in the investigation,” it said.

The bank also assured its stakeholders, “including our customers, that we are working assiduously towards a quick resolution of the issues.”

The EFCC had begun investigations into how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675 million.

An official of the EFCC was quoted as saying “during investigations into the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners, we got a major breakthrough as funds disbursed were traced to Fidelity Bank.

“We invited the MD, who then confessed to us that during the build-up to the presidential election, Diezani invited him to a meeting in Abuja. Diezani told him that some companies would deposit some funds in his bank and that she would give him further instructions on how the funds would be disbursed.”

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