How I shared my part of Diezani loot – Nenadi Usman

Nigeria's Finance Minister Nenadi Usman speaks during a luncheon at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - World Bank meeting, in Singapore September 18, 2006. REUTERS/Tim Chong

*Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Senator Nenadi Usman.  REUTERS/Tim Chong

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

05 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – A former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman has disclosed how she shared the sum of N23 billion among Northeast states at the instance of former Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke during last year’s presidential election.

Usman, who is currently being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. EFCC, in Gombe, told detectives that Alison-Madueke gave her the list of beneficiary states.

An EFCC source, who disclosed details of the investigations to our correspondent in Abuja, noted that Usman was invited to the Gombe Zonal office of the EFCC for interrogation on the billions of naira that were shared to all the states in the Northeast through her for the re-election of the former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The cash is believed to have been set aside by the Jonathan administration to bribe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials during the election. Jonathan lost the election to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Alison-Madueke was said to have sourced the money from some oil companies. Mrs Usman was Director of Finance of the Presidential Campaign Organisation.

According to the ex-minister, she shared N1.850 billion to party stalwarts in Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba states through Senator Babayo Garba (Bauchi), Senator Saidu Umar Kumo(Gombe), former Governor James Ngilari (Adamawa), former acting Governor Sani Abubakar Danladi and Senator Joel Ikenya (Taraba).

The source noted that “We decided to grill her at the zonal office as part of the final lap of our investigation on the disbursement of the slush funds in the Northeast and arraignment of suspects with prima facie cases.

“Mrs. Usman told the EFCC during interrogation that she met the former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Alison Madueke who gave her a paper containing a specific amount of money to be given to each state of the federation and directed her as the director of finance in the build up to 2015 presidential election to contact and send all the representatives of every state to go to the Fidelity Bank and collect the campaign slush funds so as to deliver the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) across the country.”

He added that “Usman told the zonal office of the commission that Bauchi State got N500 million through Senator Garba; Gombe State, N450 million through Senator Kumo; Adamawa State N450 million through former Governor Ngilari; Taraba State, N450 million through the former acting Governor Danladi and Senator Ikenya.

“Nenadi Usman admitted to the EFCC that she did not know the source of the fund as she claimed that Madueke collected the paper that contained the details of the amount.

“But she said she had reported to the head office of the EFCC in Abuja and Kano, Lagos and Gombe zonal offices of the commission to clarify how the multi-billion naira campaign bribe money was shared to the big wigs of the PDP across the country.

“The suspect has been granted administrative bail by the Gombe zonal office of the commission pending the full investigation of the matter.”

Last June 28, the EFCC arraigned Usman and three others for allegedly laundering N4.9 billion.
The others are former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd.

Usman had earlier been interrogated in connection with the withdrawal of about N3.145 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which was paid into the accounts of six PDP chieftains and Goodluck Support Group, GSG. At the prompting of the former president, N3.145billion was withdrawn from the CBN under the guise of security needs for disbursement to party chieftains.

The cash was transferred into the account of Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited, a company traced to Usman, where it was later shared between individuals and organisations for purposes that were not stated.

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