From James Ojo, Abuja
Former Senate President, David Mark, who is on the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over N5.4 billion allegedly traced to him, has honored the agency’s invitation.
Rather than Mark, it was his lawyer, Ken Ikonne, who appeared in his stead.
A source at the commission confirmed last night that Mark, who was asked to return for further questioning, yesterday, after last week’s encounter, was represented by Ikonne.
“A lawyer, by name, Ken Ikonne, came to represent the former senate president. He came with a message that his client was indisposed and could not be present physically,” the source who refused to explain the exchange between the lawyer and the team of investigators said.
Another source, however, insisted he sighted Senator Mark within the EFCC premises, but this could not be confirmed from the spokesperson of the commission, Wikson Uwujaren, whose two mobile lines were switched off as at the time of writing this report.
Mark was at the commission, last Thursday, to explain his role in the alleged N5.4 billion campaign funds allegedly traced to him, part of which was allegedly linked to the $2.1 billion controversial arms procurement cash.
Mark’s Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh, had faulted the EFCC and insisted that his principal kept a clean record as a public officer.
He reiterated that senator Mark was only invited by the EFCC, through a letter addressed to the National Assembly, to answer some questions on the 2015 presidential election campaign funds as it concerned Benue State.
A national newspaper had reported, last week, that Senator Mark was questioned by the EFCC on allegations of sharing election money to lawmakers when he was senate president.
Last week, also, Mumeh said Mark fielded questions from the EFCC, relating to the 2015 campaign finance for political activities in his home state of Benue, but was baffled about alleged bribery of senators in 2010.
Mark was senate president from 2007 until 2015 when the All Progressives Congress (APC) took control of the federal legislature. He still represents Benue South Senatorial District.
He said the EFCC alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) paid over N2 billion into a bank account run by the National Assembly, during his days as the president of the Senate.
He also said the EFCC alleged that the money was shared among the 109 Senators (including PDP, ACN, and ANPP) in 2010.
“Again, to the best of his knowledge, senator Mark is not aware of such transaction. This simply did not make sense to any right thinking member of the society.
“Senator Mark wondered why anybody would think that PDP will pay money into a National Assembly account. He, however, clarified all the issues raised before returning home,” Mumeh said.
The EFCC has refused to speak on the interrogation.