The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has quizzed a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, on his alleged role in the $15bn arms scam.
A detective said, “Chief Falae came to our office based on an invitation. He told us the story of how he received N100m based on the instruction of Anenih. However, our investigations revealed that Falae only transferred N60m to his party, SDP.!
“The remaining N40m was personally withdrawn by him, which means it was not used for campaign. When he was confronted, he started appealing to us that he did not want to be detained or taken to court, so we told him to go and bring the N40m first.
“He said we should give him some time, so we have given him two weeks to go and bring the money and then report back to us.”
Asked if the EFCC was willing to charge Falae having frozen his account, the detective said, “Chief Falae, is a former Permanent Secretary and Minister of Finance. There is no way he would not have known that the deal was shady.
“If he really wanted to use the money for campaign, why didn’t he ask that the N100m be paid into the account of the SDP? Also, why didn’t he question the source of the fund when it did not emanate from the account of the PDP? Why did he keep N40m to himself?
“We are not victimising any political party or investigating the source of campaign funds. All we are doing is tracing the billions of dollars stolen from the ONSA account. Once you return the money, you will have no problem.”
Falae, while admitting in February that he collected N100m, had said, “It is true that N100m was given to my party to endorse and work for (former President Goodluck Jonathan’s candidature in the 2015 election. We used the money for that purpose and we effectively campaigned for the PDP since we did not have presidential candidate in the election. The money was not for me.
“With all the money PDP has and having spent 16 years in power, how would I have known that the money was from the arms deal? No reference was made to the arms deal. So, they should not bring me into the arms issue.”
Falae, while speaking to one of our correspondents on Saturday confirmed that he was invited by the EFCC. The elder statesman said he told the anti-graft agency that he didn’t collect any money from Dasuki.
He said, “It is true that I was invited by the EFCC and during the interrogation I told them that I didn’t collect money from Dasuki; that the money given to my party through Chief Tony Anenih was not given to me personally but to my party, the SDP.
“I also told them that the money was mainly used for the election. I told them it was an inter-party arrangement between our party and the PDP and the money was spent on the election. I didn’t know where the PDP got their money from, it was not my business but the money given to us had been spent on the election.