EFCC Set To Prosecute Chime And Umahi Over N450m Campaign Fund

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in
Enugu on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 that it may prosecute former governor of Enugu State, Sullivan
Chime and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi over the N450 million campaign fund
allegedly disbursed through them by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before
the 2015 general elections.

Chime had earlier told the EFCC that he only provided
custody to the campaign funds which was later disbursed by those concerned with
campaigns in the state.
The anti-graft agency also disclosed that it detained two
Enugu commissioners, Mrs. Rita Mbah (Culture and Tourism) and Chief Charles
Egumgbe (Water Resources), at the weekend, over the election campaign funds
released to the state by the PDP.
Egumgbe was chairman of the PDP campaign organisation in
Enugu last year while Mrs. Mbah was the secretary.
Also, detained at the zonal headquarters of the EFCC in
Enugu was a former commissioner in Chime’s administration, Mr Joe Mammel and
former PDP chairman in the state, Chief Ikeji Asogwa.
Addressing a press conference in Enugu, yesterday, EFCC
South-East Zonal Head, Mr Johnson Babalola said: “We are investigating the
campaign funds with regards to the 2015 general elections. It is a national
issue and those involved across the states are being called to answer for what
happened to the money given to them.
So, it’s the same thing that has happened in the South-East,
particularly with regards to Enugu and Ebonyi states.”
He confirmed that Chime and Umahi were suspects being
investigated in the matter; and added, 
“we will continue to invite them until we conclude our investigation and
probably, prosecute the case.
“Yes, the former governorswere called; they are suspects. 
The case is still under investigation.  
The commissioners were invited; they came and made statements and if we
still need them tomorrow, we will ask them to come again and give additional
statements.  
They are not in court, yet.
We are still investigating; same thing with Ebonyi State.
“The money, when it was given to them was paid into Umahi’s
company’s account; he was the deputy governor at that time and the money was
paid into the account and it was from there the money was wired to some other
people which was used; we are investigating that too.
“The two commissioners from Enugu are being investigated in
connection with the same case because they were operatives of the government as
at the time this issue happened and we have been able to trace some issues to
them. 
They were aware of the money and they partook in whatever the money was
used to do.
“Yes, they were detained; this is EFCC; nobody is above
detention. 
If your case warrants being detained, we are going to keep you;
Heavens will not fall.
“The only thing is that we do it under the ambit of the law. 
There is nobody…unless you have immunity; if you don’t have immunity and you
commit an offence that warrants you to be detained, we will detain you.”
When contacted, Chief Asogwa distanced himself from
disbursement of the campaign funds.
Asogwa insisted he stood by his statement at the EFCC; that
“the party organ received the money and sent the same to the Government House
and was not involved in the disbursement.”
Babalola who also briefed the media on the achievements
recorded in the fight against corruption in the zone disclosed that in the
course of investigations, the zone has recovered over N245 million, $955,465,
in cash.
He noted that the zone has successfully completed some of
the cases where monies were recovered and suspects prosecuted; out of which the
sum of $130,750 has been forfeited and paid into the coffers of the Federal
Government.

The EFCC boss further revealed that the zone has a total of
522 cases currently under investigation, pointing out that 36 of the cases have
been concluded and charged to various courts in the South-East while “a total
of 14 convictions have been secured.”

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