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18 Jul 2016

$15bn arms scandal: EFCC Quizzes Olu Falae

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has picked up and quizzed former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae.

His arrest and interrogation was in connection with his alleged role in the $15bn arms scandal.
Falae was quizzed for hours by investigators at the commission’s office on Thursday.
Punch reports that Falae had in February admitted to collecting N100m from a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
The money was reportedly given to Falae to get his party, the SDP, endorse the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, and campaign for him.
However, the N100m was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the ONSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
An investigator at the anti-graft agency told the newspaper that the former SGF was grilled for several hours and then allowed to go home on the condition that he would return in the next two weeks.
A detective said, “Chief Falae came to our office based on an invitation. He told us the story of how he received N100m based on the instruction of Anenih. However, our investigations revealed that Falae only transferred N60m to his party, SDP.
“The remaining N40m was personally withdrawn by him, which means it was not used for campaign. When he was confronted, he started appealing to us that he did not want to be detained or taken to court, so we told him to go and bring the N40m first.
“He said we should give him some time, so we have given him two weeks to go and bring the money and then report back to us.”
On whether the EFCC was willing to charge Falae having frozen his account, the detective said, “Chief Falae, is a former Permanent Secretary and Minister of Finance. There is no way he would not have known that the deal was shady.
“If he really wanted to use the money for campaign, why didn’t he ask that the N100m be paid into the account of the SDP? Also, why didn’t he question the source of the fund when it did not emanate from the account of the PDP? Why did he keep N40m to himself?
“We are not victimising any political party or investigating the source of campaign funds. All we are doing is tracing the billions of dollars stolen from the ONSA account. Once you return the money, you will have no problem.”
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