Nigerian anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo as part of investigations into a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Okonkwo was arrested over an additional $72,870,000 still in the coffers of the bank, which is allegedly part of the proceeds of corruption linked to Diezani.
Information obtained by SaharaReporters from EFCC on Wednesday revealed that Okonkwo and one Charles Onyedibe are currently being detained by the anti-graft agency.
Okonkwo, who is currently the Chairman of First Bank Holding, alongside others, had earlier been grilled by the agency over a sum of $153 million and $115 million.
While all the $153 million were recovered by the EFCC, the cases involving $115 million, as it relates to a bribery matter involving the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), are in various courts, it was revealed.
Okonkwo and Charles Onyedibe are currently being detained by the EFCC over the whereabouts of the new $72.8 million, SaharaReporters also learnt on Wednesday from the commission.
On November 26, SaharaReporters reported that the Court of Appeal in Lagos dismissed an appeal by the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani, challenging the forfeiture of her $40 million worth of jewellery to the Nigerian Government.
The Appeal Court held that there was no substance in Diezani’s bid to overturn a lower court’s order.
It affirmed the 2019 judgment of Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court which forfeited the jewellery following an application by the EFCC.
The appellate court gave its judgment in an appeal filed by Diezani marked as Appeal – No CA/L/1263/19 between Diezani Alison-Madueke and the EFCC.
On July 5, 2019, the EFCC secured an order of the high court temporarily forfeiting the expensive items to the Nigerian Government.
According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, include “419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants.”
The items were seized from the former minister’s premises at No. 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja.
Justice Oweibo on July 19, 2019, granted the EFCC’s motion for final forfeiture of the jewellery.