How much of the $2.1 billion arms purchase cash went into the Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections?
What role did a former minister play in the alleged diversion of the funds?
These are some of the questions the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is battling to answer in its probe of the phoney arms deals that set the treasury back by millions of dollars.
The cash was wired into the former minister’s accounts, the anti-graft agency is believed to have discovered.
Governorship elections were held in Ekiti (June 2014) and in Osun (August 2014).
But the former minister, one of the leading lights of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest, has sneaked out of the country.
It was learnt that he may relocate from his hideout because it is considered as “unsafe” for him.
There are fears that if he remains in the hideout, his extradition for trial would be easier, a source told The Nation.
The source said: “The huge funds were paid into the accounts of the ex-Minister for elections in the two states.
“There are allegations that the funds were not disbursed as expected because the candidates had their own campaign funds.
“Although some military and security personnel were to benefit from the slush funds, they were also shortchanged.”
Some bankers who managed the accounts have already given some information to EFCC investigators.
“But we have discovered that the ex-Minister has sneaked out of the country. As soon as we establish his whereabouts, we know what to do,” the source said.
The Nation could not reach the former minister last night.
It was gathered that another N1.450billion fraud had been uncovered by the EFCC following revelations by one of the accused persons on trial.
The discovery is contained in the heap of evidence filed in the court by EFCC for the trial of 10 suspects.
The money was paid into some accounts which were submitted by a “former Accountant-General” whose identity the suspect in the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA) refused to disclose.
“I could remember the following companies and account numbers were submitted by the former Accountant -General which we paid monies into. Below are the companies and amounts so far paid: Stellavera Dev Company(N300m); First Aralac Global Limited(N300m); First Aralac Global Limited(N100m); Damaris Mode(N300m); Stellavera Dev Company(N200m) and Whese Farms Ltd(N250m).
“I was directed to pay monies into the above accounts. I do not know what the monies were meant for, “ the accused person said.
Meanwhile, a Staff Officer, Account 1, Yazidu Ibrahim has disclosed that most payments from the ONSA were meant to pursue the PDP presidential election.
He claims to have payment vouchers of all funds remitted to PDP beneficiaries, companies and contractors.
He made the disclosures in a statement made to EFCC as a witness.
Ibrahim said: “My duties include recording financial transactions and to keep custody of all duplicate copies of financial transactions. Also to prepare bank reconciliation statements and to collect statements from all banks.
“The year 2014-2015 transactions were mainly to support the presidential election of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Those payments to contractors or individuals by deposit into their accounts were based on instructions from the DFA. The tellers are attached to the payment vouchers.
“All payments to contractors are based on directive from DFA. Sometimes, there is accompanying document; most times, there is nothing except account details of contractors.”