$153m Money Laundering Allegation: EFCC Releases Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Traces Cash to NNPC

EFCC Releases Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Traces Cash to NNPC
EFCC Releases Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Traces Cash to NNPC

EFCC Releases Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Traces Cash to NNPC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the managing director of Fidelity Bank, who was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly helping a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to launder $153m.

According to Punch, the EFCC had taken the bank MD before an Ikeja magistrate’s court last week where the court ordered that he be remanded in EFCC custody for a week.

One EFCC source told the newspaper that Okonkwo was released because he already made useful statements on the case and had given detectives all the information they needed.

The source however said the bank boss would be charged before a federal high court in Lagos next week for alleged money laundering, conspiracy and fraud.

According to the source, the $153m has been traced to an account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the EFCC is presently on the trail of some former officials of the national oil company whose names were mentioned by Okonkwo.

The EFCC source said the commission was working on the theory that the money was part of the $20bn that a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and now Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, alleged went missing under Diezani.

When arraigned, the former Fidelity Bank boss will also stand trial for his alleged role in a separate $115m scam. Okonkwo was arrested in April for allegedly helping Diezani to handle a separate $115m during the build-up to the 2015 general election.

The money was said to have been given to Okonkwo through four companies under the instruction of Diezani. The bank boss had also allegedly received $26m in cash from the ex-minister.

The money, which was later converted to N23bn, was allegedly used in bribing officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the election.

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