The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begin investigation into the finances of the presidential aspirants of top political parties in the country.
It was gathered that the EFCC has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to furnish it with the bank accounts and other financial details of 18 political parties in the country.
This following the high fees paid for expression of interest and nomination forms by aspirants planning to contest in the 2023 general election.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) sold its presidential forms for N100 million, governorship for N50m, Senate, House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly paid N20m, N10m and N2m, respectively.
While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential form went for N40 million, governorship forms sold at N21m; Senate, N3.5m; House of Representatives, N2.5m; and state Houses of Assembly, N600,000.
According to The PUNCH, the EFCC has asked the managing directors of Access Bank and Polaris Bank to provide the details of the 14 accounts operated by the APC and the PDP and another organisation related to the opposition party.
Findings reveal that the anti-graft agency had begun a forensic investigation and tracking of the finances of the political organisations and interest groups.
The EFCC in a letter signed by its Director of Operations, Michael Wetkas, on behalf of the chairman and addressed to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, demanded a list of all political parties, their designated bank accounts and any other information that could aid its investigation.
The letter, with reference number CB.3383/EFCC/HOPS/HQ/VOL.1/28, titled, ‘Investigation activities’, read, “The commission is conducting an inquiry in which the need to obtain certain information from your commission is imperative. In view of the foregoing, you are requested to kindly avail the following information: list of all registered political parties; list of designated accounts submitted by the political parties to your commission; any other information that may assist the commission in its investigation.
“This request is made pursuant to sections 38(1) and (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004. While thanking you immensely for your continuous cooperation and collaboration, please accept the assurances of the chairman’s esteemed regards.”
In another letter to Access Bank and Polaris Bank, the EFCC said it was investigating 0692988080, 0035644896 and 0044183689 all accounts in Access Bank belonging to the APC; an account with number 0054586830 owned by the National Secretariat of the PDP, and three other accounts by Umbrella Trust Limited – 0076600091, 0066988655 and 0068595990.
In Polaris Bank, one of the accounts belongs to the APC (1771444115), while two are operated by the PDP – 1140060876 and 1770319690 – and four by the ‘PDP Fund Raising Dinner’ – 1771643176, 177647521, 177164514 and 1771647507.
“The commission is investigating a case in which the above-mentioned account names and numbers featured.
“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to forward the certified true copies of the following: Account opening packages/mandate cards; 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@example.com,” the EFCC said.
The letter also requested the 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). The commission also requested the banks to furnish it with any other relevant information that could assist the investigation.
It was also gathered that the anti-corruption commission may probe support groups who purchased forms for different aspirants for money laundering.