Following his interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the spending of N450 million sent to Enugu for last year’s national elections, the former governor of the state, Mr. Sullivan Chime, has expressed disappointment at being invited to explain the circumstances surrounding the spending of the sum.
Chime was questioned over N450 million disbursed on the instruction of former petroleum minister, Deiziani Allison Madueke.
Chime, according to sources in Abuja, reported at the Enugu zonal office of the anti-graft agency to explain his role in the disbursement of the funds.
Chime told The Guardian on phone, prior to his reporting to the EFCC office, again, yesterday, that there was no way he could have known that money sent to Enugu for the last national elections was taken from government coffers.
Findings by The Easterner indicate that the former Commissioner for Special Duties in Chime’s former cabinet, Mrs. Rita Chinelo Mba, who was also the Secretary of the State PDP Campaign Office, handled the distribution of the funds but curiously denied doing so in a statement to the EFCC.
“They brought the letter on Tuesday for me to turn up on Wednesday. They came up with issue of N450 million sent to the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the general election especially state assembly election in line with policy of sponsoring election.
“Prior to that the party had done a well publicized fund raising activity and told everybody they raised N21 billion. So when they brought the N450 million, if anything, we had reason to grumble that we got only N450 million out of N21 billion.”
He disclosed that because the money came on a Friday, it was kept in the Government House for safekeeping until the next day when it was handed over to the state campaign office of the PDP, which distributed the money to Local Government representatives.
“They took it home and the balance was paid into campaign organization account. It was used subsequently for other elections,” he added.
On why he was invited, he disclosed that the person who did actual disbursement to the party’s representatives in the open at the Old Government Lodge denied having anything to do the with the huge sum.
“Unfortunately for reasons best known to her, probably she was scared, in her statement she said she didn’t see the money. It was like joke.
“Whether she was being mischievous or she did it out of fear or she was asked to do it, nobody knows. Luckily, it wasn’t something she did in camera, she didn’t do it alone, she gave money to people, they are still alive, they will come to say you gave us so much,” he stated.
He said that he was not against being asked questions but was pained when he was invited for interrogation, his photograph taken, and then posted on a popular blog. “I found that offensive,” the former governor said.
He added, “I think they are just being too loud. If there is something you have against somebody, investigate it first. If you feel you have enough to charge the person, then you can make it public.” (The Guardian, the Easterner