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Return the cash not the cars – EFCC tells Secondus



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus has said he is willing to relinquish the 23 luxury cars he reportedly received from a business associate of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked him to refund to the Federal Government N310 million, being the worth of the vehicles instead.

Report claims that Secondus may, however, remain in the EFCC’s custody for a while because the anti-graft agency is still investigating his relationship with an oil baron.

There were indications yesterday that the screening of Secondus’ financial transactions might provide more information beyond the 23 vehicles.

Secondus was interrogated for hours yesterday by some detectives.

A source told The Nation in confidence, that: “Secondus is still under interrogation because there are fresh clues we are looking into on how diverted oil receipts from the oil magnate were used for logistics for the PDP.

“The Deputy National Chairman of PDP has admitted that he collected the 23 vehicles from the oil baron.

“At a point during the interrogation, Secondus voluntarily offered to return all the vehicles to EFCC. He said he was willing to retrieve the vehicles from the beneficiaries.”

The source added that: “The EFCC has asked Secondus to refund N310million cash being the worth of the vehicles.

“We are actually not interested in the vehicles, as the value would have depreciated. Oil revenue was used to buy these vehicles and we are demanding nothing but the N310million.

“It is left to the suspect to cooperate with our team.”

“We will keep Secondus in safe custody. Apart from making refunds, there are other clues we have which require more interaction with him,” the source said.

Asked if Secondus might face trial, the source said: “It is not impossible but investigation is yet to be completed.”

The report claims that the vehicles issue has created shock in PDP because most leaders of the party were unaware of such.

A member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) said some of the party’s leading lights were just hearing for the first time that vehicles were given to the party by an oil baron.

He said, “The revelation is shocking, the way some leaders of the party hijacked the campaign machinery is baffling. At least, some of us did not get from these vehicles”.

The former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, was still in Lagos as at last night in continuation of interrogation on some funds received from NIMASA.

Another EFCC source added: “The team managing investigation on NIMASA is yet to release him. I think he has a lot to answer on funds got from NIMASA. Badeh will remain in Lagos for a while.”

The EFCC is yet to vacate the restriction order on Air Chief Marshal Badeh’s accounts and those of 17 other military chiefs detained over the $2.1b arms deals.

The EFCC source continued: “The investigation of these former and serving military officers is still ongoing. The restriction order on their accounts is yet to be vacated.”

Some of the affected are the most senior Air Force officer, AVM A. M. Mamu (the Chief of Administration); AVM O.T.Oguntoyinbo (former Director of Production, Defence Headquarters); AVM R.A. Ojuawo (Air Officer Tactical Air Command, Makurdi; AVM J.B. Adigun(former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF); and AVM JA Kayode-Beckley(Director, Armament Research in Air Force Research and Development Centre); AVM T Omenyi (MD, NAF Holdings), four top officers at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) – Air Cdre. A. O. Ogunjobi; Air Cdre. G.M.D. Gwani; Air Cdre. S.O. Makinde; Air Cdre. A.Y. Lassa and Col. N. Ashinze , who was the Special Military Assistant to the ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).


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