N23bn Diezani bribe: EFCC detains Abia INEC commissioner

                                                                  Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has
detained the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Abia
State, Mr. Sylvester Ezeani, for his alleged role in the
N23bn ($115m) that was disbursed by a former
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-
Madueke, during the build-up to the 2015 presidential
According to the EFCC, the suspect allegedly received
N20m while he was the REC in Cross River State
during the March 28 Presidential and National
Assembly elections.
An EFCC operative told our correspondent that the
REC had failed to explain what the N20m was for and
had thus been detained.
He said, “The REC was on Tuesday interrogated by
operatives of the EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State,
in connection with an alleged N20million electoral
“While serving in Cross River State, he was alleged to
have collected the sum of N20m out of the entire
N241,000,000 which was released to Cross River
State from the controversial $115million lodged with
Fidelity Bank Plc, by Diezani. Ezeani, who has now
been redeployed in Abia State, was quizzed over his
involvement in the scam. He is still in custody.”
Meanwhile, the commission also quizzed the
lawmaker representing Oron federal constituency of
Akwa Ibom State, Nse Bassey Ekpenyong, for his
alleged involvement in a certificate forgery scam.
According to the anti-graft agency, Ekpenyong ran into
trouble when a non-governmental organisation
petitioned the EFCC, alleging that he committed
perjury and financial crimes by submitting a forged
Ordinary National Diploma/ statement of result of the
Abia State Polytechnic to the Independent National
Electoral Commission in the build-up to the 2015
National Assembly election.
The petitioner also alleged that Ekpenyong
fraudulently obtained salaries, allowances and other
financial benefits from his contrived certificate.
A detective at the commission said, “Investigations by
the EFCC showed that Ekpenyong did not attend the
polytechnic as alleged by the petitioner and the OND
certificate did not emanate from the institution.
Further investigations are ongoing on the case.
Ekpenyong has been released on bail.”

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