EFCC Detains Lucky Igbinedion Over Alleged ₦1.6 Bilion Fraud
Lucky Igbinedion, an ex-convict, faces fresh allegations of diverting Edo State’s funds to settle the financial indebtedness of a company in which he was said to have an interest.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained a former governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion, over alleged criminal diversion of public funds to the tune of N1.6 billion.
Top sources with direct knowledge of the case but not permitted to speak publicly on it, said the ex-governor was being grilled by detectives at EFCC’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.
The former governor reportedly arrived the commission’s headquarters around 2p.m. and was still under interrogation as of the time of filing this report.
Shortly after his exit as governor in 2007, Mr Igbinedion was prosecuted by the EFCC and convicted of corruption.
But the new investigation, according to sources is based on fresh evidence that the former governor diverted a loan obtained by the Edo State government to settle the financial indebtedness of a company in which he was said to have an interest.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson for the commission, confirmed the invitation of the former governor but declined further comment.
Mr Igbinedion, Governor of Edo State from 1999 to 2007, was convicted for embezzling N2.9 billion belong to the state in December 2008.
Following a plea bargain agreement he entered into with the EFCC, the 191 charges were pruned down to only one count to which Mr Igbinedion pleaded guilty.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the Federal High Court in Enugu sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment with an option of N3.5 million fine.
The judge, Abdu Kafarati, now deceased also ordered the forfeiture of the N500 million, and three properties, including one in Abuja, seized from him.
EFCC had in reaction to the verdict expressed its dissatisfaction with the option of fine given the former Governor.