The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, arrested, quizzed and detained a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh.
As at when filing this report, the former lawmaker was being interrogated for allegedly receiving a suspicious N130 million payment from a contractor the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded a solar-powered electrification project in Akwa Ibom State.
The said contract was awarded to a certain Phin Jin Project Limited in 2011 for N240 million. It was not clear if the company is registered with Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission.
One of the investigators explained that weeks after the contractor was paid the mobilisation fee for the project, N130 million was transferred to Mrs Etteh who is neither a director nor a shareholder of the company on record.
He stated: “The payment of that huge amount to her is suspicious. She is claiming the contractor repaid a debt due to her but that is doubtful. So her claims are being scrutinised.
“They even overpaid for the contract. Instead of N240 million, they paid N287 million. These are knotty issues she and the contractor need to explain and that is why she is being interrogated by operatives.”
Mrs Etteh, who was Speaker between June 6, 2007, and 30 October 30, 2007, was arrested in Abuja on Tuesday by operatives of the Special Duty Unit of the anti-graft agency, those familiar with the matter said.
The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comments last night.