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FACT-CHECK: Did FBI accuse Nnamani of embezzling $41.8 million from Enugu state coffers?

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The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has revealed how Nigerian Senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, is alleged to have stolen $41.8 million during his days as Enugu State governor, using the fund to acquire luxury assets in Florida. 

This is contained in its forfeiture proceeding in court documents as reported by Peoples Gazette. 

The authorities also stated that Nnamani paid $1.8 million, a part of the stolen fund, in cash to purchase the property at 1972 Bridgewater Drive, Heathrow, Florida.  

Nnamani, who was described as an American citizen, connived with his sister, Chinero Nwigwe alongside Peter Mbah, Sam Ejiofor, and Chika Ohaa to steal public funds while he led Enugu State between May 1999 and May 2007 according to a 2009 complaint statement. 

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According to the FBI, Nnamani, a medical doctor, stole $41.868,877.05 in one of several illicit schemes he pulled as Enugu governor, which was equivalent to N5.3 billion at the time.  

 With an official salary of $10,670 per year earned by the past governor, the FBI claims Nnamani has an inadequate source of legitimate income to account for the purchase of the lush real estate he amassed in Florida. On this basis, Judge Williams Acker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama ordered forfeitures of Nnamani’s assets to the U.S. government.  

The authorities also claimed that Nnamani was involved in a scheme to defraud the State of Enugu, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in violation of Nigerian law since at least 2003 and continuing until at least 2005 as he had opened 20 bank accounts with AmSouth Bank in Orlando, Florida, where he stashed his loot even while serving as governor.  

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This he did, despite knowing that it was illegal to maintain bank accounts abroad as an elected public official in Nigeria. The statement also added that Nnamani set up a firm Rock City Group, LLC, to carry out the fraud.

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