Agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have discovered the sum of N2.5 billion in a bank account opened in the name of a housemaid to former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, who is now a senator representing Anambra State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Two senior EFCC sources told Sahara
reporters correspondent that the
bank account and its huge deposits
had been opened and operated
without the knowledge of the former minister’s housemaid.
“Senator Oduah apparently opened the account with her housemaid’s name, image, and details without the housemaid knowing about it,” said one EFCC agent familiar with the
Another EFCC source told SaharaReporters that Ms. Oduah had
been going around to some top
officials of the Muhammadu Buhari
administration seeking their help to
scuttle her impending trial. Last week, she asked for a meeting with
EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu, claiming she wanted to meet in her
official capacity as a senator.
The two EFCC sources who briefed SR correspondent on the “housemaid” account disclosed that Ms. Oduah was the sole signatory to the account, adding that they were still connecting the dots to uncover how the ex-Aviation Minister managed to pull off such a money laundering operation.
“As of last week, the account was still active and contained over N2.5
billion,” said one EFCC source. He
added that he could not ascertain
whether the EFCC chairman, who is
currently traveling in Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, had ordered the freezing of the account. One of SR's EFCC sources revealed that the discovery of the “maid”
account meant that the former
minister must have stolen as much as N5.6 billion so far from the Aviation Ministry’s funds during her ministerial term.
SaharaReporters had revealed in
earlier reports that EFCC investigators had so far determined that Ms. Oduah split N3.6 billion that she acquired illegally among eight companies. In August 2015, Ms. Oduah filed an application at a Federal High Court to stop the EFCC from investigating allegations that she bought two ostensibly bulletproof BMW cars at $1.6 million, or $800,000 apiece.
A controversial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, initially granted
the order sought by Senator Oduah.
However, in February 2016, after
Justice Yunusa was transferred out of Lagos, another federal high court judge vacated the order, permitting
the EFCC to carry on with its
SaharaReporters had broken the
report about the BMW scam during
Ms. Oduah’s ministerial tenure.
Several BMW dealers in Europe and
North America told sahara reporters
that what the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) paid for the two
BMW cars far exceeded the price
ranges for such bulletproof