the immediate past Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Liyel Imoke, was grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes in its Port Harcourt office on Wednesday for several hours for his alleged role in the $115m (N23bn) bribe allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The EFCC had, last week, arrested the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Cross River State, Mr. Ntufam Okon, for allegedly receiving N500m from the Diezani fund.
The money in question was said to have been used in allegedly bribing officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
The commission wrote on its official Facebook page on Wednesday, “Chief Liyel Imoke was on Wednesday quizzed by operatives of the EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for his alleged involvement in the N500m collected by the Cross River State’s Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Ntufam Okon, from the sleazy $115m, (which) a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, lodged with Fidelity Bank in controversial circumstances during the 2015 campaign period.
“Imoke arrived at the Port Harcourt’s office of the EFCC by 10.15am on Wednesday and is answering questions being posed to him by investigators.”
The EFCC also arrested a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Imasuen, and former Secretary to the State Government of Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for allegedly collecting N700m from the Diezani fund.
The commission alleged that the N700m was collected from the Mission Road branch of Fidelity Bank Plc, in Benin City in March 2015, and was conveyed in a bullion van.
The statement added, “Iyamu, a PDP Presidential Campaign Coordinator in the 2015 presidential election, admitted collecting the money from the bank.
“He told EFCC’s interrogators that he went to the bank on that fateful day with Imasuen and a former House of Representatives member representing Edo Central, Tony Azeigbemi (who has yet to be arrested by the EFCC), and the money was handed over to them by an official of the bank.
“Both Imasuen and Iyamu signed for the collection of the money.
“Investigations by the EFCC showed that the two politicians conveyed the money from the bank in a bullion van to the residence of a top politician in Edo State.
“The commission is on the trail of the politician for the recovery of the money.
“Both Imasuen and Iyamu are in the custody of the EFCC and would be charged to court soon.”