Bank MD in EFCC’s custody over N29.2b arms deal
The managing director of a new generation bank has been arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged involvement in the arms procurement deal.
According to the commission, the whole amount involved in the arms probe has increased sharply from $2.1 billion to $15 billion. But the bank is said to have had about N29.2 billion ($115 million) routed through it by officials who served in the last administration.
The Guardian learnt last night that the managing director whose bank is currently being investigated, has been in the custody of the EFCC now for the third day, alongside his operations manager.
A top source at the EFCC who gave the information anonymously confirmed the top banker’s arrest. “The bank MD got the money from Diezani, the former petroleum minister. She summoned him to her house and told him that four companies would deposit money into his bank. The former minister herself deposited $26 million. The whole amount they deposited was $115 million.”
“Where the problem is, is that when a bank receives such money, they are supposed to fill in the suspicious transaction form and forward it to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). But the bank didn’t do this. Rather the MD went ahead and distributed the money as he was instructed by the former minister.
“It is believed that the money was distributed to INEC officials because the transaction actually took place a few days before the 2015 elections,” the source stated.
The EFCC had reportedly disclosed on Tuesday that the commission had uncovered more allegedly stolen funds in the arms scandal. According to reports, $15 billion was allegedly routed through a first generation bank. It is, however, not clear if any of its officials has been invited by the EFCC. The source could also not confirm this as at press time. Calls placed to the phone of the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, failed to connect.