The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arrested Austin Umahi who is the brother to the current governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi along with two others: Chinyere Egwuche and Mabel Dikibo over a N400million slush fund linked to the 2015 presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party. The suspects, all staff of Brass Engineering & Construction Nigeria Limited and Osborn La-Palm Royal Resort, were arrested following their refusal to honour invitations 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 EFCC revealed that the N400million was released by the Director of Finance, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Nenadi Usman, to the Ebonyi State chapter of the PDP for the 2015 presidential election. The said fund was moved from Fidelity Bank Abakaliki on March 27, 2015, 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 the construction of Osborn La-Palm Hotels in Abakaliki, Uburu and Port Harcourt, while the N100 million paid into the account of Brass Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited was transferred to a certain David Umahi Faith Foundation.
Although investigation is still ongoing, the above mentioned companies has been traced to the Ebonyi state governor.