Fidelity Bank Commercial bank's MD allegedly arrested for moving $115 million for Diezani

Apparently, the fraud was uncovered when the EFCC started investigating how INEC officials in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1m.

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Nnamdi Okonkwo play

Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank Managing Director

(Sabinews)
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Media reports say the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the Managing Director and CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, and some officials for allegedly receiving $115m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The Punch reports that the EFCC also arrested the bank’s Head of Operations, Mr. Martins Izuogbe, for his role in the alleged scam.

According to the report, a reliable source in the commission on Wednesday told the Punch correspondent on condition of anonymity that during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, Diezani invited Okonkwo to help her handle some cash, which would be disbursed to electoral officials and groups.

Apparently, the fraud was uncovered when the EFCC started investigating how INEC officials in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states received N675.1m.

The MD of Fidelity Bank has been arrested and is currently in our custody. During investigations into the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners, we got a major breakthrough as funds disbursed were traced to Fidelity Bank.

We invited the MD, who then confessed to us that during the build-up to the presidential election, Diezani invited him to a meeting in Abuja. Diezani told him that some companies would deposit some funds in his bank and that she would give him further instructions on how the funds would be disbursed.

The first company, Auctus Integrated, deposited $17,884,000 into the bank. The second company, Northern Belt Gas Company, deposited $60m while another company, Midwestern Oil and Gas, deposited $9.5m. A fourth company, Leno Laitan Adesanya, deposited $1.85m while the MD himself received $26m in cash,” said the detective, according to the Punch report.

Fidelity Bank play

Fidelity Bank

(dailytimes)

 

READ: Fidelity Bank recovers N8bn debt in 2014

The source alleged that Diezani’s son, Ugonna Madueke, later served as a middleman between the former minister and the MD of the bank for the other transactions.

He said it was Diezani’s son who revealed the names of people who received the funds, which included INEC officials and several interest groups as well as election monitors.

The MD said it was Diezani’s son that sent him a list of beneficiaries which included several INEC officials and election monitors across the 36 states. Diezani specifically instructed that the funds be disbursed at least a day or two before the elections. The total amount of money was $115m and Diezani told the bank to convert the funds into naira, which was about N23.3bn at the time.

However, the suspects told us that the volume of money was too big and they had problems converting the funds. So, Diezani told the bank MD to use the bank’s funds and hold on to the dollars as collateral and that after elections, the bank could use the dollars to replace the bank funds,” said the source, according to Punch.

Alison-Madueke, who is currently battling cancer, was last year arrested by the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom for sundry allegations.

Attempts to speak with the Fidelity Bank spokesperson, Mr. Ejike Ndiulo, proved abortive as his telephone indicated that it was switched off, per the report.

A senior official of the bank, who spoke with Punch Online on condition of anonymity, said the bank would issue a statement on Thursday (today).

We don’t have all the facts of the case yet. However, we will issue a statement on the matter on Thursday,” the official said.

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