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How Fidelity Bank Disbursed N264.8m Diezani Bribe To INEC Staff

More revelations are emerging about how a former Min­ister of Petroleum Resourc­es, Mrs Diezani Allison-Ma­dueke, allegedly disbursed huge sums of money as bribes during the last general elec­tion in the country.

An investigator with the Economic and Finan­cial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Usman Zakari, told the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, that Fidelity Bank Plc disbursed the sum of N264.880 million to two officials of the Independent National Electoral Commis­sion (INEC).

He named the benefi­ciaries as Christian Nwo­su and Isa Olarenwaju Ade­doyin, who are standing trial for unlawful gratifica­tion from the former Min­ister, Mrs. Allison-Madueke.

Zakari said that the sum of N115 million was depos­ited in the bank by different oil companies and some in­dividuals on the instructions of the former minister.

The EFCC operative fur­ther told the court that more instructions came from Diezani that certain indi­viduals, whose names were contained on a list, would come with means of identi­fication and that the mon­ey should be disbursed to them.

He said: “Around 2015, there was a meeting be­tween the Managing Direc­tor of Fidelity Bank and the former petroleum minis­ter, in which she explained that some companies and individuals will come to pay (money) into some ac­counts.”

“In addition, she said certain individu­als were bringing some cash for her and a total sum of $89,000,000 was paid into these accounts. Those individuals brought $25,000,000”.

According to Zakari, the money was converted to na­ira, totalling N115 billion, and distributed to persons from the 36 states of the fed­eration.

He also informed the court that they signed the receipt of payment which was subsequently admitted as evidence.

The defendants were arraigned on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 alongside one Tijani Bashir who in the course of the trial entered into a plea bargain agree­ment with the commission.

Bashir pleaded guilty, returned property he ac­quired with the proceeds of crime and paid a fine of N5,000,000.

The trial judge, Jus­tice Muhammed Idris, ad­journed the matter till Octo­ber 5, 2017 for continuation of trial.
On Wednesday, a mem­ber of staff of Fidelity Bank Plc., Mr. Timothy Olaoba­ju, had admitted before the same court that the bank disbursed N264 million to Nwosu and Adedoyin.

Olaobaju, who was the prosecution witness, said that N115 million was de­posited into the bank by some oil companies and in­dividuals on the order of Diezani.

He said: “Around 2015, there was a meeting be­tween our MD and the for­mer petroleum minister, in which she explained that some companies and in­dividuals will come to pay into some accounts. In ad­dition, she said certain in­dividuals were bringing some cash for her and a to­tal sum of $89,000,000 was paid into these accounts. Those individuals brought $25,000,000.”

The prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, who led the examination in chief, asked Olaobaju how he knew the defend­ants, to which he replied: “There was an instruction that they should be paid N264,880,000 and they were paid. The instruction to pay them came from head office as instructed by Diezani.”

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