Top PDP leaders, 2 ex-ministers arrested

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday and Tuesday, arrested two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and two former Ministers, the Punch reports.

The top politicians were arrested in connection to $115 million (N23 billion) allegedly shared by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, before the 2015 general elections.

Some of those arrested by the EFCC include: a former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil (Borno); a former Minister of Science and Technology, Alhaji Abdu Bulama (Yobe); and the PDP chairman, Mr. Joel Madaki (Adamawa), accountant of the Gombe State Government House, Mr. Mohammed Balbaya.

Speaking on the arrest, a source privy to the situation, said that the arrested men were given N450 million for their respective states.

“The PDP chairman in Adamawa has shifted the burden of explaining how the sum of N450m campaign funds sent to the state were distributed by the former acting governor of the state, Ngilari.”

“In a statement he wrote and signed at the EFCC office in Gombe, the PDP chair said he, in conjunction with a former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hassan Adamu, a signatory to the document, authorised the release of the money by the officials of Fidelity bank in Yola.”

“Madaki, however, said he immediately gave the money to the former acting governor of the state for disbursement to the beneficiaries as envisaged by the donor, adding ‘I did not know how Ngilari distributed the money’.”

The source further disclosed that “Balbaya was interrogated for his role in the N338m campaign funds sent to Gombe. He told investigators that he collected the sum in cash from an official of Fidelity Bank in the state based on the directive of Senator Kumo.”

“He said that he contacted the Permanent Secretary and Principal Private Secretary to the governor of the state, Dr.Sani Jauro, who directed him to share the money to the beneficiaries. He denied deriving personal benefit from the process. However, he had not shown who the beneficiaries were and the amount individual or group collected from him.”

“Senator Kumo and the state former PDP chairman, Paloma Nuhu, have through bank drafts refunded N2m each which they claimed to be their personal benefits from the funds. The said amount came from the sum of N106m both signed and collected from Fidelity Bank for their state. However, Senator Kumo could not account for the balance of N106m.”

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