The Ebonyi State Governor’s brother, Austin Umahi, is in trouble with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for pocketing the sum of N400 million meant for compromising the 2015 presidential election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Austin, who chairs a chain of companies, was arrested along with two others – Chinyere Egwuche and Mabel Dikibo – for using some companies to divert the huge sum to themselves.
The EFCC said last night that three suspects, who are staff of Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Limited and Osborn La-Palm Royal Resort, were arrested because of their refusal to honour its invitation for questioning over ongoing probe into how the companies got involved in the sharing of the campaign funds.
The EFCC Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said: “While Austin Umahi doubles as the Chairman of both companies, Chinyere Egwuche and Marbel Dikibo are also signatories to the companies’ accounts.
“Investigations by the commission revealed that the sum of N400 million was released by the Director of Finance, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, to PDP Ebonyi State for the 2015 presidential election.”
It was, however, discovered that the said fund was immediately moved from Fidelity Bank, Abakaliki on March 27, 2015, where it was initially deposited, to an Access Bank, Abakaliki account.
Maxwell Umahi further moved N100 million and N300 million respectively into the accounts of Brass Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited and Osborn La-Palm Royal Resort respectively.
From the account, Chinyere Egwuche subsequently withdrew the N300 million paid into the account of Osborn La-Palm, which, according to her, was used to finance further construction of Osborn La-Palm Hotels in Abakaliki, Uburu and Port Harcourt, while N100 million paid into the account of Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Limited was transferred to a certain David Umahi Faith Foundation.
Uwujaren said last night that although investigation was ongoing, the said companies had been traced to the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
But the National Vice Chairman, South East zone of the PDP and younger brother to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, Austin Umahi, debunked reports that he was arrested by the EFCC.
Umahi, in a telephone conversation with our reporter, said at no time was he arrested by the Commission.
He said: “I wasn’t arrested, there is nothing like that.
“Will I be arrested and I am picking my calls and talking to you?
“It is trash, nothing like that happened.
“What did they even say I did?
“I am just hearing it for the first time right now from you.
“I will advice that people should properly investigate before writing their reports.”