Former Senate President, David Mark on Thursday returned to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with the allegation of his involvement in the distribution and cornering of a whopping N5.4billion slush funds.
Mark who had once appeared before the commission a fortnight ago was unable to write any statement of defence regarding the allegation owing to ill-health.
He had earlier presented a medical certificate to the anti-graft agency that he was not fit enough to “be able to write a statement”.
The EFCC allowed him enough grace to attend to his health.
He reported to the EFCC Thursday at about 2pm with one of his sons.
He is asking EFCC for proofs of evidence even as he dismissed as laughable some of the allegations against him.
Bar and Bench Watch reports that the details of the allegations against him include alleged involvement in N200m -N550m arms procurement cash from ONSA; N2.9billion curious payment into the National Assembly’s account and shared to senators during Mark’s tenure; his role in about N2billion campaign funds meant for Benue State; and illegal purchase of a N748million official residence of the Senate President.
According to a report by The Nation, the EFCC had said: “We have resumed full probe of Mark, who came to respond to issues raised for him by a panel of detectives.
“He was in company of his son. He was calm during interrogation, which involved the presentation of some of our findings to him.
“Altogether, he has more than three cases before the EFCC but we are gradually isolating every issue in which he was implicated.
“By the time we release the facts to the public, Nigerians will realise that the on-going probe of the former Senate President has nothing to do with politics.
“We have been on some aspects of the investigation since 2015.
“In one of the findings, about N200million was collected in cash for Mark from ONSA through a proxy.”
Another source spoke of how Ode gave “useful information on who got what among PDP chieftains in Benue State.
“Our detectives have identified those who signed for the N2billion. In fact, some stalwarts diverted the cash for personal use.”
Former Minister of State Ode is implicated in the disbursement of N2billion campaign funds meant for Benue State.
The cash was suspected to be part of the ONSA fund meant for arms procurement.
But Mark has denied allegations of conspiracy, abuse of office and mismanagement of funds.
In a statement through his media aide, Paul Mumeh, he said: “To set the record straight, Sen. Mark was invited by the EFCC via a letter addressed to the National Assembly to answer questions on the 2015 presidential election campaign funds as it concerned Benue state.
“As a law abiding citizen, Sen. Mark honoured the invitation.
“Curiously, they also alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) paid over N2bilion into the National Assembly’s account which he, as the then President of the Senate, allegedly shared among the 109 senators (including PDP, ACN, and ANPP) in 2010. Again, to the best of his knowledge, Sen. Mark is not aware of such transaction.
“This simply did not make sense to any right thinking member of the society. Sen. Mark wondered why anybody would think that PDP will pay money into National Assembly account. He however clarified all the issues raised before returning home.
“Sen. Mark believes in due process and rule of law. He has maintained a clean record of public service over the years and will continue to uphold the highest standard of conduct expected of public servants.
“Sen. Mark’s house has since become a pilgrimage of sort to Politicians across party lines, friends and well-wishers identifying with him at this moment.
“He however appealed to his supporters, friends and associates to remain calm and see his current travails as a price he has to pay for leadership.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this is the first and only official statement from the office of Sen. Mark on this issue.”