CrimeNews

Ex-Senate President, Anyim released after two days in EFCC custody

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released a former Senate President, Pius Anyim, after being held and interrogated for two days over allegations of corruption, his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.

Mr Anyim, taken into custody on Sunday, was released on Tuesday based on an dministrative bail granted him by the commission, according to Mr Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The former Senate President between 2000 and 2003 who went on to serve as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, was taken into custody after arriving at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja at about 3 p.m. on Sunday.

He was questioned over a matter involving the incumbent Anambra North Senator, Stella Oduah, multiple sources at the EFCC had informed this newspaper.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that sources said the commission had invited ex-Senate President in connection with a corruption case involving Ms Oduha over alleged diversion of funds to the tune of N780 million allegedly diverted to a company in which the former Senate President was said to have an interest.

Ms Oduah, a former Minister of Aviation under the Goodluck Jonathan administration from 2011 – 2014, was sacked based on a contract scam involving the purchase of BMW armoured cars.

Release

When contacted by our reporter on Wednesday, Mr Ozekhome said Mr Anyim fulfilled the conditions of the administrative bail said to have been granted him on Monday, but was only allowed to go home on Tuesday.

The lawyer said his client was not invited by the EFCC but voluntarily visited the commission to clear his name “when he heard his name had been mentioned by a person under EFCC investigation”.

“I remain Anyim Pius Anyim’s lawyer. My chambers have been on the matter since Monday when we applied for his administrative bail before the EFCC. And yesterday (Tuesday), the administrative bail, which was earlier granted on Monday, was perfected and Anyim was released to go home. He has since gone to his house.

“It must be stated clearly that Senator Anyim was never invited by the EFCC. He had gone there voluntarily to meet with an officer on Sunday at about 3 p.m., to clear his name when he heard his name had been mentioned by a person under EFCC investigation, but only to be surprised that he was not allowed to go home.

Anyim, Oduah

The EFCC is currently prosecuting Ms Oduah, along with Chinese construction giant, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd, and other defendants on separate money laundering charges involving N5billion.

She allegedly committed the offences in the twilight of her tenure as the aviation minister, and shortly after her removal as minister.

Part of PREMIUM TIMES’ series of reports on the recently leaked Pandora Papers exposed her assets hidden in tax havens.

On his part, Mr Anyim had been named in relation to alleged financial irregularities concerning the Centenary City project in Abuja.

The report indicting Mr Anyim was said to have been submitted to the House of Representatives by the committee led by a House member, Herman Hembe.

Denying any wrongdoing, Mr Anyim, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, sued the House of Representatives in 2017.

On May 4, 2017, a judge of the FCT High Court, U. A Musale, granted an injunction restraining the House from acting on the report.

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