The wife of a former president may soon be invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to explain her role in the sourcing and disbursement of huge funds spent by the Presidency in the last two weeks before the general elections. The fund, estimated at over a trillion naira, was routed and disbursed through the Amnesty Office to some notable politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Investigators of the disbursement noticed that the release of about 40 per cent of the funds was authorized by the former First Lady. Also under investigation by operatives of the anti-graft agency, is the source of the funds, which has not been established due to the Amnesty office’s boss departure from the country.
According to sources, the failure of the former head of the presidential Amnesty Programme to return to the country has slowed down investigations of how the funds were sourced, “because he allegedly disbursed the bulk of the money, which was not part of the funds allocated to his office.” It was gathered that the suspected Amnesty boss who will face 14 petitions written to the EFCC against him, left the country soon after preliminary investigations into the sourcing and disbursement of funds for the elections.
“Ordinarily, he should have been here to defend himself against the petitions, but he has refused to show up. It is highly suspected that he is not in any hospital. It was all a dummy be sold to Nigerians. He left this country as soon as he sensed the EFCC may invite him to explain his role in the funds disbursement”, a source said.
Already, some of his aides, including personal assistants and driver, have been interrogated on the matter. The investigating team would also want to ascertain his interest in an airline that operates in South Africa with about 12 aircraft. EFCC’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujare, could not be reached for comments on the matter before Press time. However, a source who did not want his name in print, said efforts were being made to get him back to the country for interrogation.
In the past few months, the present administration has increased the tempo of its hunt for public funds suspected to have either been looted from government coffers, especially during the immediate past administration. Already, many serving and retired military officers, including former service chiefs as well as top politicians have been interrogated by the anti-graft agency.
Government sources have since disclosed that some of those involved have returned part of their loots in a bid to escape prosecution and public ridicule. Similarly, many push buildings belonging to some of those under investigation have been sealed in many parts of the country.