EFCC has reportedly obtained court approval to detain the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, and the bank’s Head of Operations, Martins Izuogbe, in respect of $115 million given to them by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, just two days before the 2015 presidential election – Punch reports.
An anonymous EFCC official revealed that both bank bosses will be in the custody of the anti-graft agency for 30 days until investigations into the matter are over. “On Thursday, we approached a court in Lagos, where we applied for a remand order. The court granted our prayer and gave us permission to hold them for 30 days pending the conclusion of investigations.”
EFCC took Okonkwo and Izuogbe in last week for allegedly sharing the lump sum to INEC officials days before last year’s presidential election that ousted former President Jonathan Goodluck and brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power.
Alison-Madueke was reported to have given the cash sum of $26 million to Okonkwo for safekeeping – despite the fact that she did not maintain any accounts with the bank. She was also alleged to have informed Fidelity Bank’s boss that another sum of $89 million would be deposited into the bank by four banks – with instructions to convert the amounts to Naira currency.
Ugonna Madueke, Alison-Madueke’s son, was later said to have presented Okonkwo with a list of beneficiaries who would receive the funds in detailed figures. EFCC is currently on the heels of Ugonna, and Alison-Madueke is being investigated for money laundering.
Senior executives at Fidelity Bank maintain that the bank has not erred in safekeeping money for the embattled, former petroleum minister or distributing it according to her wishes, regardless of the time when the funds were deposited with the bank.