Anti-graft agency officials have arrested Chibuike Achigbu, the Lagos-based businessman who recently laid claim to the $15 million bribe money which former Delta state governor and convicted fraudster James Ibori had offered to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2007.
There have been calls for his arrest since the businessman told an Abuja High Court last week that the $15 million bribe money, which has since been locked away at the Central Bank of Nigeria after EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu turned over the bribe funds.
The Vanguard reported that Achigbu, described as a player in the oil and gas industry, was arrested on Friday and has since made useful statements to the EFCC.
A source told the Vanguard that since his arrival in Abuja, Achigbu has been in interrogation and has offered up information as regards his role in the controversial multimillion dollar bribery scandal.
“He may be granted Administrative bail and released from our custody if he meets the conditions attached to the bail,” the source hinted.
Achigbu has long since maintained that he didn’t have any connection to James Ibori’s scandal, but laid claim to the $15m all the same. The businessman said he and a few of his buddies had pulled the funds together in hopes of aiding the ruling People’s Democratic Party in the elections that year.
He reportedly then handed the money over to Senator Andy Uba, who was at the time Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his tenure. Achigbu alleged that he gave Uba the money to hand over to the EFCC to give it a clean bill of health.
Uba, Anambra state Senator, denies the allegations. But there are reports that the bribery transaction took place in his Abuja residence.
Last week, a court gave the anti-graft agency, led by Festus Keyamo, the green light to arrest both Uba and Achigbu and the Vanguard reported that more arrests will be made.
Achigbu has armed himself with a team of 10 lawyers, including three senior advocates of Nigeria, who will fight to get the funds legally returned to him.