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EFCC recovers N6.5b in cash, properties




• We reported Alison-Madueke’s transactions, says bank
• NBC ex-boss, commissioners deny N3.4b fraud

As investigations continue and more discoveries are being made in the controversial arms procurement deal, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered up to N6.5 billion in the last two weeks.

Much of the recoveries were allegedly from the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Mashall Adesola Amosu.

According to reports, Amosu, about a fortnight ago, returned N2.3 billion to the Federal Government. Also, properties worth about N500 million were reportedly seized from him while another N381million was allegedly refunded by his wife, Omolara. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine was also reportedly seized from Amosu’s diagnostic centre this week by the EFCC. The machine is said to be worth N2.6 billion. Altogether, N5.78 billion has been recovered from Amosu alone in less than two weeks.

Other recoveries made this week include a combined sum of N580 million (£2 million) in jewelries, allegedly from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison Diezani-Madueke, and wife of her associate, Jide Omokore. This is excluding houses seized from both Diezani-Madueke and Omokore.

The commission said that former Minister of State for Finance, who was the Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Nenadi Usman, had submitted two of her houses and pledged to refund N140 million.

These recoveries are coming just as the amount being investigated in connection with the arms procurement deal has gone up to $15 billion, from the $2 billion alleged fraud at the Nigeria Air Force for which Amosu, the former Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) and other serving and retired officers are being investigated. Altogether, so far, the total amount being investigated has gone up to $17 billion. This is aside from a fresh $12.9 billion arms fraud uncovered this week by the EFCC.

The recovery of this $17 billion is at the centre of all efforts by the EFCC at the moment. Aside from the cash and assets recovered, the commission still has the duty to recover another N23.3 billion ($115 million) from an alleged transaction between Diezani and the management of a new generation bank whose managing director and head of operations are currently in EFCC custody.

According to the commission, this amount was routed through the bank by ex-government officials who served in the last administration.

“The bank’s MD got the money from Diezani. She summoned him to her house and told him that four companies would deposit money into his bank. The former minister herself deposited $26 million. The whole amount they deposited was $115 million.

“Where the problem is, is that when a bank receives such money they are supposed to fill the suspicious transaction form and forward it to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). But the bank didn’t do this. Rather the MD went ahead and distributed the money as he was instructed by the former minister.”

But the embattled Fidelity Bank has said that the $115 million transaction it allegedly had with Alison-Madueke was duly reported to the regulators.

In a statement from its Head of Corporate Communications, Ejike Ndiulo, the bank claimed to be cooperating with the anti-graft agency and that it was working to resolve the issues.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren declined giving official figures on the recovered funds so far. However, chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, had several weeks back, stated that the EFCC had recovered “billions and billions” for the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, the former Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba, and 10 commissioners of the commission have taken strong exception to their being portrayed as corrupt, and have written to the EFCC explaining their role in the sale of a spectrum to the MTN for $171 million.

In a letter by their counsel, Chief Ogwu Onoja (SAN), demanding confirmation, clarification and rescheduling of their invitation by the EFCC, the commissioners took time to debunk allegations of fraud in the sale of the spectrum to MTN.

Last weekend, it was disclosed by an EFCC source that the board members were going to be questioned in batches, with the first batch expected to appear before a panel of investigators last Monday.

They were to be questioned over issues surrounding the sale/lease of a spectrum to a telecoms firm for $171million (about N34,114,500.00) and how 10 percent broker fees, amounting to N3.4 billion was paid a company even before presidential approval was secured.

But condemning the manner the allegation against them was leaked to the media, the board members objected to the approach adopted by the EFCC which their lawyer said they perceived to “amount to deliberate media persecution and conviction calculated to embarrass and disparage their reputation in the eyes of the public and before their families and friends.”

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  • Richard Emamezi

    Every kobo of our commomwealth looted by these people must be recovered

  • Dejoe

    I’m not comfortable with these recoveries because they are not thorough. EFCC recovers a figure today, tomorrow it discovers it is no longer that figure, but a bigger figure. What this means is that why EFCC is grinning that it has recovered billions, the looters are still keeping billions to hire senior lawyers to defend themselves. They still have much more billions to leave large at our expense when they are let off the hook. The recoveries should be thorough and must include every kobo (liquid and fixed assets, home and abroad) in the hands of looters, their children, wives, husbands, relations and associates until they become ordinary as we are. They must be reduced to the state where what they have can only commensurate with their salaries. These hasty recoveries must stop. EFCC please get more thorough and strip these guys completely.

    • Arabakpura

      We must first of all give kudos to the new improved EFCC for the recoveries so far made because they are not spirits! One way we can encourage them is to support their request that they be allowed to employ 750 additional employees!

      • Akinns

        You are right, compare to the EFCC we had during GEJ.

    • emmanuel kalu

      That is one of the problem with the corruption fight. nobody actually know how much as being recovered, where it is housed and from who it was recovered from. The court has order the president to release this information. There need to an independent auditor that keeps track of this money. Finally there is no enforcement of our laws, all these people are already guilty of one crime and should be in jail.

  • KennBest

    Very nauseating amount of monies recovered. Very unfortunate, indeed.

    • ade

      Honestly, you said it well. Many people are suffering in Nigeria as they have not been paid their salaries that is their God-given entitlements. Something drastic has to be done as a deterrent to a repeat of these mind-boggling corruption that is killing Nigeria.

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  • emmanuel kalu

    it is just madness all this money being looted and recovered. it is also crazy that most of this people are already guilty of one crime not to mention the looting aspect of it. The ex military people are guilty of misappropriation of public funds, the banker is guilty of disobeying regulatory runs. All of them are already guilty and should be already serving jail time, while the other charges are being investigated. The problem with Nigeria is we don’t enforce our laws. To end corruption, we need to massively enforce our laws to deter others. All this officials should be in jailed, all their assets seized and they should be banned from holding public office forever.

    • Richard Omo

      It is difficult because those political SANS are using technicality in law to kill justice.