By Dipo Awojobi – A former Minister of Finance, Esther Nenadi Usman, was on Thursday taken into custody by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving N2.5 billion of the N4 billion taken out of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the orders of a former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, in the heat of the 2015 election.
The money was said to have been voted for the purchase of arms and ammunition in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Usman was the Director of Finance of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign and was said to have had access to huge cash, some of which the EFCC said came from the CBN.
Also arrested by the EFCC was former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Clement Iloh, for obtaining a questionable N316 million from public account.
The two former top public officers were being quizzed over what an EFCC top source described as serial acts of corruption by EFCC operatives on Thursday night.
According to findings, the former minister is being quizzed over various sums of money which were paid into her account during her tenure as senator.
She was said to have received N2.5 billion of the over N4 billion, which was transferred out of CBN into various individuals and company’s accounts.
Illoh, on his part, was arrested by the EFCC after N316 million was traced to his Zenith Bank account.
During the investigation, EFCC was said to have discovered that N14.1 million was paid to Clement & Bob Associates, a company in which Dr. Illoh is the sole signatory.
It was further discovered that the sum of N49 million and N13 million were also paid into Clement & Bob Associates account from the now defunct Subsidy Reinvestment Programme.
Illoh has been unable to provide satisfactory answer on how he came about the said N316 million in which he has the sum of N200 million in fixed deposit and over N16 million as balance in Zenith Bank.