The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced N3.6b in stolen funds to former Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah.
Oduah, who is now a serving senator, recently obtained an interim injunction preventing the EFCC from investigating, arresting, questioning, or prosecuting her.
The injunction which was granted her by Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court in Lagos was later dismissed by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos in February, allowing the EFCC to commence the investigations into the N255m scandal.
According to EFCC sources, while Oduah served as a Minister of Aviation and secured several multi-billion naira contracts to upgrade Nigeria’s 22 airports, much of the said money allegedly ended in the minister’s pockets and that the program’s progress that she touted was grossly overstated.
The EFCC sources further alleged that out of the 192 contracts awarded in the second phase of the program, only six were completed.
Recently, the anti-graft agency arrested the managing director of Fidelity Bank, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo in connection with the $115 million slush fund routed through the bank by former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a full scale manhunt for Ugonna, son of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in connection with the alleged disbursement of money to INEC officials and election monitors in the build-up to the presidential election.
According to sources at the EFCC, Ugonna is the key to arresting all those involved in the case since he was a middleman between the ex-minister and the bank MD.
A senior official, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said, “We have launched a manhunt for Ugonna, who the suspects said was the one who drew up a list of individuals, who should be given the N23bn ($115m).
“We don’t know exactly where he is but we will get him. He needs to explain his role in the sharing of the money because the bank officials have been mentioning his name since they were brought in.”
Ugonna is the Head of Business Development and Commercial Marketing at Radam Maritime Services Limited, a firm, which is headed by his father, Alison Madueke, a former Chief of naval Staff, who is also under investigation by the EFCC for alleged money laundering.
He is said to have business interests in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Ugonna, who is an engineer, burst into the limelight in 2012 when photos showing his ostentatious lifestyle went viral on the Internet.
In one of such pictures, the graduate of University of Maryland College Park in the US, was seen flying in a private jet and later drinking champagne in a limousine. He has also been seen displaying wads of dollar notes on social media.