The immediate past chairman, Nkanu East Local Government Area and the Special Adviser on Special Duties to the incumbent governor of Enugu State, Pastor Sam Iyiogwe was on Thursday quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged multi-million Naira fund belonging the council.
Daily Times gathered from a source at the EFCC that Iyiogwe was invited to the Enugu zonal office of the commission for interrogation following a petition that he laundered N200 million while in office as council chairman.
The source said that the former chairman of Nkanu East local government area committed the offence during his term as chairman of the council.
“According to the petitioner, Iyiogwe diverted the sum meant for the development of the council into his personal account and expended same on personal needs without approval from the legislative council,” the source said.
The source said that Iyiogwe did not execute up to 30 per cent of the capital projects between 2012 and 2015 for which billions of naira were appropriated for.
“Among other allegations, the accused was alleged to have withheld workers salaries, including leave allowances that were not paid for four years.
“He was alleged to have refurbished a council bus with N5 million and spent another N5 million on some council members in order to cover his tracks,” the source said.
The source said that Iyiogwe was alleged to have been paying his wife N1.5 million monthly without legislative approval and also diverted funds meant for the constructions of a mall at Ogui Road junction.
“He was alleged to have used some of his special advisers to divert N100 million and another N20 million meant for road contracts that were never executed,” the source said.
The EFCC source said that investigations into the allegations confirmed that the cashier of the council Mrs. Felicia Okeke withdrew N80 million from the council’s account with UBA and deposited same into Iyiogwe’s account.
“It was also gathered that the suspect used his Head of Works, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo to steal and launder various sums of money, an allegation Okonkwo confirmed during questioning.
“Okonkwo confirmed that the suspect asked him to forge the various receipts used for the retirement of the looted funds.
“One Felix Okoye forged the receipts of Enugu State Broadcasting Service and other broadcasting stations used in carrying out some fund retirement for purported public relations,” the source said.
The EFCC source said that further investigation revealed that the council’s cashier, Mrs. Okeke operated a US dollar account with UBA where about US$30,000 were deposited and withdrawn within a short interval.
The source said that investigations were still ongoing, adding that further arrests would be made with a view to charging the suspect to court.
“At the moment, Oyiogwe has been released and ordered to report at a later date,” the source said.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of the suspect who was released on Thursday night proved abortive as he failed to either pick his call or respond to a text message sent to his phone.