Former Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sullivan Chime, and some key members of his cabinet including the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, on Monday were guests of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Enugu.
It was gathered that Chime was invited by the commission to explain how his team handled the alleged N400 million PDP campaign fund for the state chapter of the party during the 2015 general elections.
Sources which sought anonymity claimed that a member of the state PDP 2015 Campaign Organisation, who felt cheated on how the funds were disbursed, petitioned the EFCC.
Chime drove himself to the Enugu office of the EFCC in Independence Layout in an Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), with registration number CV 950 ENU, at about 11.30am and spent less than 30 minutes in the EFCC premises. Thereafter, he went back to the driver’s seat of his car, already positioned by the only person who accompanied him to the place.
Before Chime made it to the EFCC office in Enugu yesterday, Chief Ikeje Asogwa, the immediate past state chairman of the PDP, was there earlier and left.
Others who were at the EFCC’s office yesterday were Mr. Charles Egumgbe, the founding chairman of Enugu State PDP, who played keys roles in the party’s campaigns; and Hon. Gab Onuzuluike, the immediate past chairman of Oji River Local
Newsmen who were eager to get explanations on Chime’s appearance at the EFCC office were disappointed as an official in the media office of the organisation said he could not speak on the matter without clearance from Abuja.
Chime and his men also declined to comment on their presence at the EFCC office.
When the commission’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, was contacted on the matter, he simply said that he was in Abuja and not Enugu.
Meanwhile, Uwujaren has explained why the commission freezes the accounts of suspects under investigation. He said the action is a mandatory investigative step backed by law.
He said: “Indeed, Section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act 2004 empowers the commission to freeze any account suspected of being used for financial crimes.”
The section stipulates that, “the chairman of the commission or any officer authorised by him may, if satisfied that the money in the account of a person is made through the commission of an offence under this Act or any enactment specified under Section 6(2) (a)-(f) of this Act, apply to the court ex-parte for power to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other appropriate authority to freeze the account.”
“Similar provision in the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2012 (as amended), also empowers the EFCC Chairman or his representatives to place a stop order on any account or transaction suspected to be involved in any crime,” he said.