By Obinna Achi, Enugu
The ex-Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the South East zone, Austin Umahi has been arrested by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his alleged misappropriation of N400million presidential election campaign fund.
Umahi who is brother to Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state was arrested alongside two others – Chinyere Egwuche and Mabel Dikibo.
According to a bulletin issued by EFCC in Enugu on Tuesday, the suspects, all staff of Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Limited and Osborn La-Palm Royal Resort, were arrested, following refusal to collect and honour invitation by the EFCC, for questioning in an ongoing investigation involving both companies.
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, 000, 000 was released by the Director of Finance, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, to PDP Ebonyi State, for the 2015 presidential election, but the said fund was moved from Fidelity Bank Abakaliki on the 27th of March 2015, where it was initially deposited to an Access Bank Abakaliki account, where one Maxwell Umahi further moved N100, 000,000 and N300, 000,000 respectively into the accounts of Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Limited and Osborn La-Palm Royal Resort respectively.
“One of the suspects, 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 the N100 million paid into the account of Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Limited was transferred to a certain David Umahi Faith Foundation”, the bulletin explained.
The crime bursting outfit concluded that “although investigation is still ongoing, the above mentioned companies have been traced to the Ebonyi State Governor.”