The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigations into some of the bank accounts of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over suspected money laundering.
The anti-graft agency started the probe on the political parties’ accounts in two banks in Abuja, Premium Times reports.
The investigation may not be unconnected to the parties’ sale of expression of interest and nomination forms in which the two political parties have recorded high volumes of transactions and inflow of funds into their accounts.
Recall that the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa had said that the commission works hand-in-hand with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when it comes to the issue of monitoring election funds as well as candidates’ funds.
Bawa said that they follow the money and they make sure they know the source of the funds to ascertain whether it is legitimate or illegitimate.
As parts of preparations for the 2023 general elections, political parties are keenly selling their party forms for members aspiring for different positions.
The APC pegged its presidential expression of interest and nomination form at N100 million while PDP put its own at N40 million. However, despite the outrageous fees for the forms, the two parties have recorded hundreds of patronage for all the elective positions.
Both parties have raked billions of naira with about 28 presidential aspirants reportedly having paid for the APC’s N100 million as of yesterday (Wednesday), while at least 17 aspirants have obtained the PDP’s N40 million.
According to Premium Times, the Head of Operations EFCC headquarters, Abuja, Michael Wetkas, on Monday, wrote to the Managing Directors of Access Bank and Polaris Bank in Abuja informing them that the commission was investigating 14 accounts of the two parties, and another organisation suspected to be connected to the PDP.
The letter indicated that the commission’s investigation involves three accounts in Access Bank belonging to the APC, (0692988080, 0035644896 and 0044183689), one to the National Secretariat of the PDP (0054586830), and three to Umbrella Trust Ltd (0076600091, 0066988655, 0068595990 and 0054586830).
Also in Polaris Bank, one of the accounts belongs to the APC (1771444115), one to the Garki, Abuja chapter of the PDP (1140060876). one to the headquarters of the PDP (1770319690) and four to “PDP Fund Raising Dinner” (1771643176,177647521, 177164514 and 1771647507).
The letter further stated that “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to forward the certified true copies of the following:
a. Account opening packages/mandate cards.
b. Statement of account from January 2021 to date (hard and soft copies). The soft copy should be copied to excel format and forwarded to [email protected]
c. Certificate of identification pursuant to Section 84(4) of the Evidence Act. 2011 (The certifying officer should include his full name, designation, signature and date on each page).
d. Any other relevant information that could assist the investigation.
“The request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) 8(2) of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2021 and Section of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2021 as amended.”
However, the commission has refused to provide more information on the investigation at the time of filing this report.