Published On: Wed, Jul 22nd, 2015

Crackdown On Looters: EFCC, ICPC Turn Searchlight On GTB, Others

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Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed determination to crackdown on corrupt officials is expected to provoke chain of reactions including a searchlight on banks that acted as conduit of official sleaze, write Sadiq Umar.

The statement was made in far away United States, yet it reverberates across the shores of Nigeria, sending shivers and tremor on the conscience of the guilty and accused. President Muhammadu Buhari, a man who rode to power less than two months ago on the crest of his anti-corruption stance appears warming for action. He has reiterated his commitment to tackle the hydra-headed monster of corruption that has for so long dealt fatal blow on the nation. Hear him on a T.V interview with Amanpour: It is said that some of the corrupt people are members of your own party. Will you prosecute them too? Buhari: I have no choice.

Specifically, Buhari had earlier told his audience in Washington that he will spare no effort to repatriate all known looted monies in foreign bank accounts. “When we get as much as possible (documents), we will approach those countries to freeze those accounts and to go to court, prosecute those people and let the accounts be taken to Nigeria. I assured you that whichever documents we are able to get and subsequently trace the sale of the crude or transfer of money from ministries, departments,  Central Bank, we will ask for the cooperation of those countries to return those monies to the federation accounts. Not only did he secured the understanding and indeed the commitment of his host, President Barack Obama, who had also vouched for Buhari’s integrity and purposefulness.

The import of Buhari’s note of warning is not lost on culpable officials, the anti-corruption agencies namely; the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) are already gearing up. While the ICPC is partnering with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) to create new strategy to fight financial sector corruption, EFCC is flexing its muscle with the latest invitations to daughter of late President Umaru Yar’Adua and wife of former Kebbi state governor Saidu Dakingari, Zainab Dakingari and wife of President of the Senate Bukola Saraki, Toyin Saraki, to appear before it to answer charges on corruption.

In the renewed crackdown, some banks where illicit monies have been traced to would not be spared. It is expectedly so because financial sector corruption thrives where banks collaborate to move money in excess of statutorily approved amount, without notifying the relevant authority as prescribed by law, making them partners in the monumental financial fraud within the system.

Sources told News Investigators that Zenith, GTB and Access banks top lists of banks that may fall under the sledge hammer of the Buhari’s anti-graft crusade. “Of course there are concerns that this is a very sensitive area that can create serious consequences for the economy, but for this regime, ridding Nigeria of corruption is a task that must be done,” the sources said.

For instance, fresh facts have emerged on the intrigues that halted the ambition of former Rivers state governor, Peter Odili of becoming the presidential candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the events leading to the 2007 general elections, vis-a-vis the investigations into alleged grafts that nailed him.

The subterfuge which gave rise to the eventual emergence of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan involved a web of conspiratory plot by Nuhu Ribadu, the then chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and Nasir El-Rufai who was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It is also a chronicle of the high level investigation of the systematic looting of state treasury by the EFCC and the involvement of Zenith Bank under the watch of the current governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, as conduit of official sleaze.

Zenith, in particular has a well documented instances of bank fraud involving such cases as the NECO’s questionable N300Million disappearance; the questionable loan draft of N160 Million awarded to Dr. Bukola Saraki through Joy Petroleum among others. So is GTBank and Access.

The EFCC’s report on how Saraki and Odili, looted Kwara and Rivers states respectively of several billion of the state and disbursed same to cronies. EFCC is said to have sent an invitation to Saraki’s wife to appear for interrogation as a prelude to eventual probe of the senate president.

An insight into the loot of Odili as contained in the EFCC investigative report shows that a total of about N89billion was fleeced from the state treasury. Of the amount, about N73billion is in local currency while a whooping N16billion in (current forex rate) equivalent was conveniently carted away in US Dollars, Euros and Pound Sterling. The breakdown further revealed that about 129million is in Dollars, one million in Euro and the balance 2Million in Pounds.

Analyses drawn from the EFCC report shows that, one Emmanuel Nkatah a personal staff of the Governor working at the Rivers state liaison office Abuja was a loyal and willing tool in hands of Odili. In the looting spree, series of questionable withdrawals were made from Government House Zenith Bank account No. 6010916587 placed at the disposal of the former governor. All withdrawals were in cash and without any official transaction and documentation. The account ran like a GSM number dedicated to a live Radio program. Between 15 December 2004 and 11 September 2006, a total of 86 curious withdrawals of various sums were made by Nkatah on behalf of Odili. By September when EFCC spread its dragnet over the state, a total of N4.012billion has been withdrawn from the account. All withdrawals were made in Abuja leaving officials of the commission to wonder whether the government was being run from outside the state. Surprisingly, the withdrawals were hardly reported to the relevant security agencies including the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, an arm of the EFCC charged with the responsibility of monitoring transactions made within and among Banks. In the conclusion of the EFCC, the act is a clear violation of relevant laws and an offence punishable under sections 390(8) (b) of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. (See Box for breakdown of all withdrawal).

In the enormous pursuit for Odili, the former governor may however not be the only one to stand prosecution. Some of the accused that will be charged alongside Dr. Peter Odili according to the source include Mr. Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, Rockson Engineering Co. Ltd, Ojemai Farms Ltd, Ojemai Investments Ltd, Prof. Babalola Borisade, Dr. Ahmadu Alli, Mr. Barnabas Gemade, Paul T, Mrs. Olufemi A, Ike Nwachukwu, Godsonic Oil Coy Ltd and Prof. Ukandi Damanchi. Others are Courage Communications Ltd, Attn Ltd, Ragolis Water Ltd, M/S Wetland Health Services Ltd, Transky Ltd, Foby Eng. Ltd, First Medical/Sterile Company Ltd, Habila Resources Ltd and four Media Houses.

See below the withdrawals:

TABLE OF SOME OF THE QUESTIONABLE WITHDRAWALS

Date Amouth Bank A/C No. Venue Beneficiary

15/12/2004 N30Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

17/12/2004 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

23/12/2004 N30Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

04/01/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

11/01/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

17/01/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

09/02/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

11/02/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

14/02/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

17/02/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

28/02/2005 N25Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

14/03/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

21/03/2005 N65Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

07/04/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

25/04/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

27/04/2005 N30Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

31/05/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

02/06/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

06/06/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

09/06/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

13/06/2005 N25Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

16/06/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

20/06/2005 N25Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

27/06/2005 N16.3Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

30/06/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

06/07/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

12/07/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

14/07/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

18/07/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

27/07/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

29/07/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

25/08/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

29/08/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

01/09/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

08/09/2005 N40Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

12/09/2005 N30Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

22/09/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

29/09/2005 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

14/10/2005 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

07/10/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

12/10/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

14/10/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

18/10/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

20/10/2005 N12Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

24/10/2005 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

26/10/2005 N25Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

01/11/2005 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

09/11/2005 N30Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

10/11/2005 N22Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

28/11/2005 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

29/11/2005 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

05/12/2005 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

06/12/2005 N70Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

08/12/2005 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

17/01/2006 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

25/01/2006 N15Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

07/02/2006 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

16/02/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

17/02/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

08/03/2006 N10Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

10/03/2006 N4Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

13/03/2006 N40Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

16/03/2006 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

28/03/2006 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

11/04/2006 N65Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

13/04/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

18/04/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

04/05/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

25/05/2006 N500Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

30/05/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

05/06/2006 N200Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

19/06/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

21/06/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

03/07/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

12/07/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

14/07/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

19/07/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

31/07/2006 N20Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

02/08/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

08/08/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

15/08/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

22/08/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

28/08/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

06/09/2006 N100Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

07/09/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

11/09/2006 N50Million Zenith 6010916587 Abuja Emmanuel Nkatah

2004-2006 N30, 031,446,589.70 Zenith 6010914407 Abuja Rockson Eng. Co Ltd.

To be continued……..

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