IF the current drive of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to recover looted funds, both from the arms deal and other sources, is maintained, the commission may be on its way to retrieving N1. 5 trillion which will help to revive the economy.
The total of the amounts in most of the corruption cases being investigated and those already in court is N1.5 trillion. And as confirmed by the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu recently in Abuja, the commission has already recovered billions.
“We have many corruption cases in court. We are getting them every day from everywhere and we are recovering stolen money and taking corrupt people to court. The money we have recovered and the money we are going to get back from them -billions and billions of naira- is being paid back to government and will be used to do what it was originally meant for – build hospitals, send our children to school, build roads and railways, create employment and defend our country”, Magu had said.
The arms procurement scam involving former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki is to the tune of $2.1 billion and another N643 billion. Out of this amount, prominent Nigerians including former Minister of Defence , Haliru Mohammed and his son, former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda , former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and son, are alleged to have shared from this amount.
Others alleged to have shared from the arms deal under Dasuki include some elder statesmen such as Chief Tony Amenih .
Another tranche of the arms deal being investigated and which involves the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) and former and serving service chiefs is worth $2 billion and another N29 billion.
For this investigation, former service chiefs, Alex Badeh, Adeshola Amosu and others are being detained by the EFCC.
The Army last week, also forwarded names of about 15 officers to the EFCC on the matter, stating that if found culpable they would be court-martialed .
Other money allegedly stolen by individuals includes about N37 billion involving former Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi who has five cases in court being prosecuted by the EFCC. One of the cases involves N34 billion Maritime University land scam in which he was linked to former Niger Delta militant , Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo. Another case against Akpobolokemi involves N2.6 billion aside from three other cases involving different amounts of money.
The newest in the cases being prosecuted is the one involving former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and five others worth about N676 million allegedly got from applicants in the failed immigration recruitment scam of March 2013. This money if recovered may have to go back to the applicants.
It is not yet clear how much may come from the planned probe of the petroleum industry, as the EFCC is currently investigating former Ministers of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The commission interrogated Alison-Madueke’s husband some days back. The commission is yet to invite Okonjo- Iweala and Alison-Madueke though about $1.4 million has already been recovered from an operator in the petroleum industry. This is in form of unpaid royalty to the Federal Government.
If the four tranches of investigations currently going on are brought to a conclusion with the money fully recovered, then the EFCC would have recovered N1.5 trillion for the Nigerian economy.
The money involved in the investigations include: Dasukigate: $2.1 billion and another N643 billion, NAF: $2 billion and another N29 billion; Abba Moro and others N676 million; Akpobolokemi, Tompolo : N34 billion; Akpobolokemi: N2.6 billion. The summation of these funds amounts to N1.5 trillion, using N200 as exchange rate for the dollar components.
This N1.5 trillion would be a fraction of the amount to be recovered by the EFCC because several other corruption cases inherited by the Muhammadu Buhari administration are still ongoing in courts. They include cases involving former governors. Those still being investigated and prosecuted in this category include the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff and former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim and others. So far in the arms procurement case, about 40 persons have been arrested by the EFCC, starting with Col. Sambo Dasuki himself.
Since the EFCC seized Sambo Dasuki, scores of others from politicians to military personnel, to persons in the oil and petroleum industry as well as the media have also been arrested and quizzed.
They include former Air Mashal Alex Badeh, Air Mashal Adeshola Amosu, ex- Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal M.D. Umar; Col. N. Ashinze and AVM A. M. Mamu. Others are: AVM O.T. Oguntoyinbo, AVM R.A. Ojuawo; AVM J.B. Adigun; and AVM JA Kayode-Beckley; AVM T Omenyi, Air Cdre A.O Ogunjobi; Air Cdre GMD Gwani; Air Cdre SO Makinde; and Air Cdre AY Lassa.
At the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), another $2 billion and N29 billion fraud was allegedly discovered in contract award spending.
The alleged fraudulent contracts include how 10 contracts to the tune of $930,500,690.00 were awarded, payment of 4,402,687,569.41 for unexecuted contracts, procurement of two used Mi-24V helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at $136,944,000.00, four used Alpha-Jets for the NAF at US$7,180,000.00 funded by ONSA, cannibalisation of engines from NAF fleet to justify procurement of jets, excessive pricing of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar at $33 million instead of $6 million per one and delivery of radars without vital component of Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) that distinguishes between own and adversary aircraft.
Other areas being investigated by the EFCC are the transfer of $2 million to Mono Marine Corporation Nigeria Limited owned by some Air Force officers, N15 billion allegedly lavished on the maintenance of its Alpha-Jets, C-130H aircraft and Mi-24V/35P helicopters, N2.5billion contracts awarded to Syrius Technologies, a Ukrainian company not registered in Nigeria, award of seven contracts worth N599,118,000.00 contracts to Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) but two delivered. Many of those arrested and being investigated are still in detention; some for more than three weeks.
Others arrested and quizzed got some share of the arms money from the office of the former NSA.
They are mainly politicians and media personalities. They include former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and his son, former Minister of Defence, Haliru Bello Muhammed and his son, spokesman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh among others.
EFCC set to recover N1.5tr, ‘Billions already recovered’
Reviewed by Link Naija