The deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has offered to return the 23 luxury vehicles he got from Jide Omokore, an oil baron and business associate of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Mr. Secondus, who was until last week Tuesday, acting national chairman of the PDP, is believed to have served as conduit through which the controversial oil baron distributed money and other gift items to politicians.
But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which arrested the PDP chieftain on Tuesday, is rather interested in a refund to the Federal Government the sum of N310 million, being the current worth of the vehicles.
Secondus may however remain in detention for a longer period than expected because the anti-graft agency is still probing his relationship with Mr. Omokore, The Nation reports.
Indications also emerged yesterday that the screening of Secondus’ financial transactions might yield more clues beyond the 23 vehicles.
Secondus was quizzed for hours yesterday by EFCC operatives.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Secondus is still under interrogation because there are fresh clues we are looking into on how diverted oil receipts from the oil magnate were used for logistics for the PDP.
“The Deputy National Chairman of PDP has admitted that he collected the 23 vehicles from the oil baron.
“At a point during the interrogation, Secondus voluntarily offered to return all the vehicles to EFCC. He said he was willing to retrieve the vehicles from the beneficiaries”.
Responding to a question, the source added: “The EFCC has asked Secondus to refund N310million cash being the worth of the vehicles.
“We are actually not interested in the vehicles, as the value would have depreciated. Oil revenue was used to buy these vehicles and we are demanding nothing but the N310million.
“It is left to the suspect to cooperate with our team”.
There were indications last night that the PDP deputy national chairman might remain in detention for a while, pending the conclusion of investigation into his activities with the oil baron, who is reportedly under probe too for allegedly lifting crude oil repeatedly through his company, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts and failing to remit the money to the government.
“We will keep Secondus in safe custody. Apart from making refunds, there are other clues we have which require more interaction with him”, the source said.
Asked if Secondus might face trial, the source said: “It is not impossible but investigation is yet to be completed”.