The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday secured a remand warrant to detain a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in connection with the N2.5billion illegally withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and paid into the accounts of six chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Goodluck Support Group (GSG).
Fani-Kayode allegedly got about N840million from the funds which were pumped into former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 election campaign.
Also, for the second day running, the ex-minister was grilled by operatives.
With the warrant, Fani-Kayode can be remanded for two weeks, which can be renewed if the EFCC has a stronger reason to further keep him in detention.
According to a source, the anti-graft agency obtained the remand warrant from a Magistrate’s Court.
The source said: “The EFCC has secured a remand warrant from a Magistrate’s Court to keep Fani-Kayode in custody while investigation continues in line with Section 293(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.”
The section says “a suspect arrested for an offence which a magistrate’s court has no jurisdiction to try shall within a reasonable time of arrest be brought before a magistrate’s court for remand.”
Section 296(1) of the ACJ Act says: “Where an order of remand of the suspect is made pursuant to Section 293 of this Act, the order shall be for a period of not exceeding 14 days in the first instance and case shall be returnable within the same period.”
The source said “the depth of the ongoing quizzing of Fani-Kayode accounted for the application to the court to detain the ex-minister for a while.”
“So far, we are detaining him within the time limit allowable by the nation’s law,” he added, requesting not to be named.
The N2.5billion was shared as follows: Fani-Kayode (N840million); Goodluck Support Group (N320million); Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri (N350million); Nenadi Usman (N140million); Olu Falae (N100m) and Okey Ezenwa (N100million)
Of the six people implicated in the scandal, three former public office holders have been questioned by the EFCC. They are former Minister of State (Finance), Mrs Usman, former Imo State Governor Udenwa and Fani-Kayode.
Fani-Kayode’s share of N840million was paid in three tranches into his account.
A source said: “The first tranche of payment involving N350million hit the account on February 19, 2015. Another N250milion was also paid into the account on February19, 2015 while N240million was credited to the account a month later; precisely, March 19, 2015.
“The balance on this account as at 31st December, 2015 was N189, 402.72.
“The Goodluck Support Group allegedly received N320million
“Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae allegedly received N100m through Marreco Limited, a company in which he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account No. 1000627022 on March 25, 2014.
“Both Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri got N350million in two tranches. The first tranche of N150million was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200miilion was credited into their account with Diamond Bank.
“Okey Ezenwa allegedly got N100million.”