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Liyel Imoke EFCC grills ex-governor over alleged $115m Diezani bribe

Imoke was said to have been grilled at the commission’s office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over his alleged involved in the distribution of the fund.

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In its bid to bring to book all those involved in the $115m (N23bn) bribe allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has questioned former Cross River governor, Liyel Imoke.

Imoke was said to have been grilled at the commission’s office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over his alleged involvement in the distribution of the fund.

Last week, the the EFCC had arrested the Peoples Democratic Party Chairman in Cross River, Mr. Ntufam Okon, for allegedly receiving N500 million from the Diezani fund.

It was believed that the money was used in bribing officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

“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 Rivers State’s Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Ntufam Okon, from the sleazy $115million, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke lodged with Fidelity Bank in controversial circumstances during the 2015 electioneering campaign period," EFCC wrote on its Facebook page.

“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 his investigators.”

The EFCC also said it arrested a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Imasuen, and former Secretary to the State Government of Edo, Pastor Osagie Iyamu, for allegedly collecting N700 million from the Diezani fund.

The agency alleged that the N700 million was collected from the Mission Road branch of Fidelity Bank Plc, in Benin- City in March, 2015 and the money was conveyed in a bullion van.

“The N700m was reportedly collected from the Mission Road branch of Fidelity Bank Plc, in Benin- City in March, 2015. 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,” the statement read.

READ: INEC disowns staff who received bribes from Diezani

The anti-graft agency also detained a former minister of finance, Bashir Yuguda, for allegedly collecting N450 million from Diezani. He was said to have admitted to receiving the fund from the former minister.

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