Alleged N225bn Fraud: EFCC Tightens Noose On Six Ex-Governors

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…Seizes Shema’s Passport

…Intensifies Investigations on Akpabio, Nyako, Ohakim, Suswam

Just as the High Court sitting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, ruled last week Wednesday that the former governor of Adamawa State, James Ngilari, be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) over an alleged 167 million frauds, five other former governors are also under the watch of the anti-graft agency which has vowed to arrest more.

   If the threat by the EFCC is anything to go by, and if proven guilty eventually, many of the former governors may spend their retirement in galore, while forfeiting their pensions.

      Over N225 billions, alleged to have been looted by these former state executives, if recovered would boost the revenue drive of the government.

   Investigation by The New Diplomat reveals that while some of them still presently walk freely around the corridors of power; many of them are making anxious, but strong moves to sweep their cases under carpet.  There have also been making efforts at planting their cronies inside EFCC.

   The reopening of some of these cases may, however, not be totally unconnected with the recent push by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, who recently wrote to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), directing the reopening of the cases of the ex-governors in July.

Hon Bala James Ngilari of Jigawa State (N167million)

A High Court sitting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, recently ruled that former governor of Adamawa State, James Ngilari, be remanded in the custody of the EFFC.

The commission is charging Ngilari for allegation violation of procurement laws in the award of a N167m contract to one El-Yadi Motors Limited for the supply of 25 units of Toyota Corolla.

The anti-graft agency had instituted a 19 count-charge against Ngilari, the former secretary to the state government who served under him, Ibrahim Welye, and a former Commissioner of Finance and Budget, Sanda Jonathan Lamurde. EFCC accused them of conspiracy, lack of No Objection Certificate, no competitive bidding and others in the procurement process for the contract.

 

Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom State N108.1billion

The EFCC is investigating allegations that the former governor embezzled N108.1 billion during his tenure between 2007 and 2015.Already, the anti-graft agency had written to five banks demanding information on Akwa-Ibom State finances under Akpabio’s administration.

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 Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State ($2.290) (N9.16billion)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had accused the former governor of Imo State, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim whose  corruption case has been on going. Ohakim who piloted the affairs of Imo state between May 2007 and May 2011 is answering to a three-count criminal charges bordering on money laundering, abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds. He was alleged to have looted the sum of $2.290 million from the state treasury and used same to acquire a mansion at the Asokoro District of Abuja.

 

Murtala Nyako of Adama State (N29 billion)

The trial of a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba, who are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 37-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29 billion.

   The suspect is alleged to have at various times between 2011 and 2013, used five companies – Blue Opal Nigeria limited, Serore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Towers Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited to commit the fraud.

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Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State (N76 billion)

The EFCC recently sealed off three houses belonging to the former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema over an alleged fraud amounting to N76 billion.

   On the houses are written boldly, the inscription: “EFCC Under Investigation.” The houses are located at Makera estate along Daura road; Barhim estate; the Government Reserved Area, all in Katsina.    The incumbent governor Aminu Bello Masari, who was said to have been displeased with the handover note he received from his predecessor and thereafter, set a panel to investigate the management of the state’s finances by Shema.

Gabriel Suswam of Benue State (3.1billion)

Former Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam and former commissioner of finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia, are facing a nine-count charge bordering on diversion of N3.1 billion during Suswam’s tenure as governor of Benue State. The former governor may have fled the country to some undisclosed destination in Europe or North America.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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