The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Okonkwo, according to sources, was arrested on Monday for allegedly receiving $115 million in cash from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
He was said to have been arrested alongside some other staff of the Bank.
Others arrested included the Head of Operations of the Bank, Martins Izuogbe.
According to informed sources, Alison-Madueke was said to have deposited the $115 million in the Bank as preparations commenced for the 2015 presidential election.
She was said to have invited Okonkwo to Abuja, where she briefed him on the deal.
Okonkwo allegedly accepted to receive the money into the Bank’s coffers despite the fact that Alison-Madueke did not have an account with Fidelity Bank Plc.
The discovery was said to have been made by the EFCC when its operatives were probing how officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom States allegedly received N675.1 million.
The money was said to have been given to the INEC officials a day or two before the election.
The source of the money was traced to Fidelity Bank Plc.
Okonkwo was said to have confessed that he was indeed invited to a meeting by Alison-Madueke as preparations for the 2015 election began and that the former Minister told him that some companies would deposit some funds in his bank.
He said Alison-Madueke then told him she would give him further instructions on how the funds would be disbursed.
After the meeting, four companies made cash deposits into Fidelity Bank Plc.
These were Auctus Integrated, which deposited $17,884,000; Northern Belt Gas Company, which made a deposit of $60 million; Midwestern Oil and Gas, $9.5 million; and Leno Laitan Adesanya, $1.85 million.
Okonkwo was said to have received $26 million in cash himself.
Alison-Madueke’s son, Ugonna Madueke, was said to have become the go-between after the cash deposits were made.
Ugonna allegedly supplied the names of the beneficiaries of the funds.
They included INEC officials, several interest groups and election monitors.
They were simply expected to compromise the electoral process.
Okonkwo was also said to have confirmed to EFCC operatives that it was Ugonna who sent him the list of the beneficiaries.
A source in the EFCC said: “When Okonkwo found it difficult to convert the money into Naira before the election as directed by the former Minister, he notified her of the development.
“She in turn told him to use the Bank’s fund and then convert the Dollar into Naira after the election.
“This was promptly done and the fund was distributed as directed.”
The total sum in Naira then was put at about N23.3 billion.
Out of the sum, not less than N681 million was said to have gone to officials of INEC.
Among those who allegedly benefitted from the money was the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State, Gesil Khan.
Khan allegedly got N185,842,000.
The other INEC staff that reportedly got money from the Alison-Madueke/Okonkwo deal were Fidelia Omoile, the Electoral Officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State, N112,480,000; Uluochi Obi Brown, INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Delta State, N111,500,000; a former Deputy Director of INEC in Cross River State, Edem Okon Effanga, N241,127,000; and the Head of Voter Education of INEC in Akwa Ibom State, Immaculata Asuquo, N214,127,000.