After being grilled by the EFCC, the finance director of the PDP Campaign Organisation, Esther Usman Nenadi detained Thursday, has returned N23 million of the N2.5 billion traced to her company’s account.
The amount was part of the billions the former President Goodluck Jonathan withdrew from the Central Bank of Nigeria to finance his re-election bid in 2015. The sum has been pegged variously between $370 million and above $600 million.
But all the monies missing are now lumped into the $2.1 billion arms purchase vote the office of the former NSA Sambo Dasuki threw around before the 2015 elections.
Nenadi, according to the EFCC last weekend, has promised to refund some more.
The ex-finance minister, in her response to the investigators, said she got the money on the order of Jonathan, and she would not have known it was lifted out of the CBN vault.
According to her, the party asked her to set up an account for the campaign organisation, which she did, using the account of Joint Trust Dimension Ltd, her real estate company into which the stolen funds were poured and disbursed to others.
Other PDP stalwarts involved in sharing the money include Femi Fani-Kayode, media director; ex-Gov. Achike Udenwa; Prof. Rufai Alikali, Goodluck Support Group’s director; and two others.
Fani-Kayode had the biggest slice of the fund: N840 million.
Non-PDP members that sympathised with Jonathan’s ambition also had their grabs. Former Secretary to the Federal Government and leader of the SDP Olu Falae got N100 million. Former Gov. Rashidi Ladoja of the LP also got N100 million.
The suspect was gobsmacked when asked why she would set up a party account in her company’s name, since she was appealing to the PDP authorising her to do so.
It has also been discovered that the initial amount hauled out of the CBN was N4 billion, which was transferred to an account named Ministry of External Affairs Library. It was from there the N2.5 billion chunk hit Nenadi’s Joint Trust Dimension’s account.
Apart from the foreign affairs ministry, another government body sucked into the scandal was the National Intelligence Agency under Dasuki..
It was learnt the intel agency got wind of the CBN heist going on then, but didn’t bother to investigate. The anti-graft commission is already querying officials of the NIA.