N23bn Diezani bribe: EFCC quizzes ex-gov Chime over N450m

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Ex-Governor Sullivan Chime
Chime

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday grilled the immediate past Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, for allegedly receiving N450m out of the $115m (N23bn) disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

Impeccable sources at the anti-graft agency told The PUNCH that Chime reported at the Enugu zonal office of the EFCC in response to an invitation to explain his role in the disbursement of N450m allegedly received out of the Diezani cash for the Peoples Democratic Party’s campaign organisation in the state.

The ex-governor was said to have told detectives that he handed over the money to the Secretary of the campaign office, Mrs. Rita Mba, who was also the state’s Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Government Affairs.

“According to Chime, the money was brought by two of his former commissioners, Joe Nmamnel and Mrs Rita Mba, in company with the Chairman of the PDP, Enugu State, Ikeji Asogwa, and Prof. Osita Ogbu.

“He further stated that he gave the money to his orderly for safe keep and that only Rita Mba should have access to it to facilitate her work as secretary of the campaign secretariat. He denied personally disbursing the fund,” the source added.

Chime, the source said, was expected to report on Monday, June 13, 2016, for further interrogation.

The ex-Enugu State governor is the second governor in the South-East to be grilled by the EFCC in connection with the Diezani bribe money.

The South-East zonal office of the anti-graft agency had, on May 4, 2016, invited and quizzed a former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa; Senator Chris Anyanwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ahamba; and a former Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, for their alleged role in the handling of N700m from the Diezani fund.

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