Ibori $15mn bribe:  EFCC detains Andy Uba for 8 hours

Uba, former domestic assistant to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

The Senator representing Anambra South in the Nigerian Senate, Andy Uba, was on Monday held for 8 hours and questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over his role in the Ibori $15 million bribe.

Mr. Uba, sources at the commission say, was questioned on his role in the bribe and his relationship with Chibuike Achigbu, the man who swore an oath to owning the bribe money.

Mr. Uba’s interrogation follows an earlier questioning by the EFCC of the lead counsel to Mr. Achigbu, Adeniyi Akintola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria; and Mr. Achigbu himself.

Mr. Achigbu, who identified himself as a businessman with interests in diverse fields, had through his counsel swore to an affidavit that he was the true owner of the bribe money, which he claimed he raised from business colleagues for the Peoples Democratic Party.

The businessman also filed an application in court seeking to retrieve the money, being claimed by both the Federal Government and the Delta State Government; an application he later withdrew.

Mr. Achigbu claimed in his affidavit that it was a phone call he received from the Senator a few days before filing his suit that convinced him of the ownership of the bribe money. He said he gave the money to Mr. Uba in 2007 in order for the Senator to clear the source from the EFCC.

He also claimed in the affidavit that the Senator, based on their discussions, was ready to attest to everything he swore to in his (Mr. Achigbu’s) affidavit.

Mr. Uba has however publicly denied the businessman. He stated that his house was only used by the then Delta State Governor, James Ibori, for the deal with the former EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu. Mr. Ibori allegedly offered the bribe to Mr. Ribadu in April 2007, at Mr. Uba’s house, while the money was received on behalf of Mr. Ribadu by the current EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, who was then the Director of Operations of the Commission.

Lawyers and civil society groups insisted that the EFCC investigates both the Senator and Mr. Achigbu for their roles in the bribery scandal. An Abuja Magistrate Court also last week ordered the Inspector General of Police to investigate both men about their roles in the bribe payment. The police boss is to report to the court on September 26 on the outcome of its investigations.

Mr. Uba could not be reached for comments as his telephone was switched off.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said he had no information about the interrogation. He promised to find out the details and get back to us.


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