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Jonathan’s campaign funds: EFCC to charge Falae with money laundering

Posted On Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:09 Written by
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to arraign a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, for allegedly receiving N100m from the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation during the 2015 General Elections.

The N100m, which was given to Falae on the instruction of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A document sighted by our correspondent indicated that the commission would charge the ex-SGF and one-time Minister of Finance with conspiracy to indirectly retain the sum of N100m “which he ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) and 4 of the same Act.”

Falae had, in a statement in February, admitted collecting the N100m, but said he did not know that the money emanated from the account of ONSA.

A detective at the anti-graft agency told The Punch that 78-year-old Falae had been frequenting the EFCC office in Lagos in the last couple of weeks.

“Chief Falae has been reporting to our office every week to answer questions on the N100m he received from the Jonathan campaign organisation. We have told him to refund the money.

“But he said he received the money through Anenih and it was meant for campaign. However, investigations revealed that he deposited N60m into SDP’s account while he kept N40m.

“We told him that he should return the N40m, but he has not been forthcoming. We have no other option but to charge him to court.”

The EFCC had alleged in March that about N3.145bn was mysteriously transferred from the account of ONSA to the account of  the Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by the Director of Finance, Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.

Usman was said to have transferred N840m to the account of the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in Zenith Bank, Maitama branch, with account number, 1004735721, on February 19, 2015.

Falae, who is the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, allegedly received N100m through a company, Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account, 1000627022, on March 25, 2014.

According to the document, N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association which played a major role in Jonathan’s campaign.

A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, also got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond Bank.

Usman and Fani-Kayode had been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen, while Udenwa is expected to be arraigned this week.

The source at the EFCC told our correspondent that since all the others were facing prosecution, it would only be fair for Falae to be charged.

Read 539 times Last modified on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 12:14

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