Bank account of Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has been frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as it steps up investigation into the alleged N4billion campaign bazaar cashreceived from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the build-up to the 2015 elections.
The funds were allegedly withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and shared to 10 other directors, directorates, zonal directors and state directors of the Presidential Campaign Organization of Jonathan.
Fani-Kayode declared yesterday that he knew nothing about the withdrawal of the cash from the CBN or funding of the campaign by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
But he admitted that campaign funds were paid into the account of a company linked with a former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, from where it was shared to him and others.
He dared the EFCC to “do their worse” in a statement in Abuja entitled “The Money Transfers and the Truth about the Presidential Campaign Funds.”
The beneficiaries may be arrested for questioning by the anti-graft agency.
Details of the largesse sharing are as follows: Fani-Kayode (N840million); Goodluck Support Group (N320million); Achike Udenwa and Viola Onwuliri (N350million); Nenadi Usman (N140million); and Okey Ezenwa (N100million).
Giving his own side of the story,Fani-Kayode said he received the funds from ex-President Jonathan and he is accountable only to the former leader and not the EFCC.
He said the funds disbursed were not from public coffers and these were routed through a private company.
His words: “Our funds were given to us by the President who was the leader of our party through the Director of Finance of the PCO and we were not in a position to inquire into the sources of funding of the party’s campaign. Indeed, it was not our responsibility to do so.
“Once I got these clarifications and confirmations, I agreed to receive the funds into my bank account and use them for their stated purpose.
“The transfers were made and I used the funds to carry out all our operations during the course of the presidential campaign.
“It was an aggressive and well-run campaign and we gave our opponents a very hard time indeed. It was also very expensive and we barely had the resources that we really needed, but we did an effective job with the little we were given.
“The whole nation, including our friends and our enemies, can bear witness to that and they saw the excellent quality of our work. Hardly anyone can dispute this, yet some fail to appreciate the fact that such a strong showing costs a lot of money. Media and publicity campaigns cannot be run on goodwill alone. You need cashand plenty of it.
“During the course of the election and after its conclusion, I submitted detailed accounts of our expenses and evidence of our work to the Director of Finance of the PCO for onward transmission to the Director-General of the PCO and ultimately President Jonathan himself about how the money was spent and they were satisfied.
“Given the fact that these were not public funds, the only legal body that can inquire into our expenditure of campaign funds is President Goodluck Jonathan who set up the PCO.”
Continuing, he said: “I cannot sit by silently as my name is dragged through the mud in this way and I am convicted in the court of public opinion. This has happened to me once before and it took me seven years to clear my name. It will not happen to me again.
“Consequently I am constrained to take this opportunity to state the facts of this matter, set the record straight and await my traducers and accusers to make their next move. It is indeed time to challenge those that are making these allegations and to kill the lie.
“ The fact that my bank account was frozen on the orders of the EFCC two weeks ago without any explanation is proof of the fact that I am being targeted and that those that seek to have their wicked way with me are about to pounce.
“Given this, it is important that all the relevant facts are put before the world before I am subjected to the Dasuki treatment, put away indefinitely and not given the opportunity to defend myself before the public. Meanwhile, in their usual manner, after this is done, the EFCC will then flood the media with all manner of lies about my so-called atrocities which only exist in the figment of their imagination.
“The allegation of fraud and the receipt of public funds from the National Security Adviser’s Office and Central Bank into my bank account are false.
“These allegations are baseless, wicked, shameful and irresponsible. It is not true that any money was paidinto my account by or from the National Security Adviser’s Office, the Central Bank of Nigeria or any other government agency or institution last year or at any other time.”
He said the funds were wired into his account and others through a company associated with ex-Minister Nenadi Usman.
”As the Director of Media and Publicity of the Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organization, I was asked to submit a budget for my Directorate by Chief Tony Anenih, the Presidential Adviser to the Presidential Campaign Organization and Mrs. Nenadi Usman, the Director of Finance.
“My team and I prepared the budget and it was approved.
“Rather than collect cash, for security reasons and the purposes of accountability, I was advised by the Director of Finance to open a bank account for this purpose, which I did.