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Oduah, Soludo Still Under Probe –EFCC



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said that it is still investigating a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo.

The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said during a press conference in Abuja on Monday that the commission was still investigating a case of bribery against Soludo.

Last year, President Goodluck Jonathan was forced to sack Oduah after a public outcry against her alleged involvement in the purchase of two BMW bulletproof cars for her use by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

A team of crack operatives from the Intelligence and Special Operations Section of the commission led by one Chike had grilled Oduah for five hours on February 2, 2014 in relation with the controversial procurement of the two BMW cars for N255m.

Although, Oduah was granted a provisional bail after allegedly making “useful statements,” the EFCC insisted that the case against her was not closed as the matter was still being investigated.

Uwujaren said on Monday that investigation into the bulletproof car scandal had got to an advanced stage and could be concluded in a few months.

He restated also that several top officials of the major parastatals of the Ministry of Aviation had been interrogated by the EFCC in relation with the scandal.

He said, “Her matter is not closed. She has been invited, officials of major parastatals in that ministry have also been invited to make statement.

“The investigation has reached an advanced stage. In a few weeks or months you will get to hear details of our findings.”

However, the EFCC spokesman added that the fact that a person was invited for questioning did not necessarily mean that the person must face trial.

He stressed further that a suspect could only be adjudged guilty by a competent court of law and not the commission.

On Soludo, the EFCC spokesman said that the case against him which had to do with alleged bribery and corruption was still open contrary to speculations by a section of the media that it was closed.

Uwujaren stated also that the commission would charge a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security, Minting and Printing Company, Mr. Ehidiamhen Okoyomon, for alleged corruption.

Uwujaren, who also spoke on the multi-billion Naira fuel subsidy scam, said that the commission had recovered N4.3bn from 17 marketers who collected subsidy funds from the Federal Government without supplying the product for which payments were made to them.

He said that those involved in the theft were already facing prosecution.

He said, “Seventeen oil marketers are currently undergoing trial and over 40 of their companies are added.

“They are undergoing trial for obtaining subsidy from the Federal Government without supplying products. We believe they will be sent to court soon.

“The exact figure recovered from oil subsidy theft is N4.3bn just as stated by the EFCC’s Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde.”

The EFCC spokesman, who also commented on the case of alleged corruption involving the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, said that it was the Independent National electoral Commission that could take a decision on the issue.

Uwujaren said that it was not the responsibility of the EFCC to determine whether somebody standing trial in court was eligible to contest election or not.

He said that Fayose had been standing trial for alleged corruption since 2007, adding that the matter was transferred to Ekiti State where the offence was believed to be committed following a decision of the Appeal Court on the issue to transfer it to Ekiti.

“I think the proper place to direct that question to is the INEC which is the umpire presiding over election, it is not the EFCC. Our job is not to preside over electoral matters.

“If the umpire believes that the electoral law allows such a person standing trial in court, even though he has not been convicted to stand for election; that is the job of the INEC, it is not for the EFCC to decide.”

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