How A Private Investigator Traced N70 trillion Looted Government Funds In 29 Accounts In 17 Banks

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By Our Reporter

This is not the best of times for top officials in the Presidency, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under the close watch of Godwin Emefiele, Zenith Bank, over N70 trillion looted   funds at the Federal level that have been traced to 29 private Accounts in 17 banks within the country by a Private Investigator that was said to have been engaged by the Federal government since 2016.

This is because the no nonsense Abdulaziz Bawa, led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who have continued to blaze the trails with his officials are all over the place trying to see that it eradicate economic and financial crimes through the Court processes and other preventive measures that it has put in place over the last two years.

Bawa: Chairman, EFCC

 The convictions of 2,595 victims that was said to have been secured by the anti-graft agency as September 23, 222, bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the top government officials who had looted the N70 trillion with their Collaborators in CBN, Zenith bank and FBN, no longer have a hiding place as their days are numbered.

Aready, the case for the recovery and forfeiture of the alleged N70 trillion looted government funds had been dragged to a Lagos Federal High Court, which the trial Judge Justice Peter Odo Lifu was said to have  adjourned to March 6, 2023.

The looted government funds  by the few Nigerians parading themselves as super rich was said to have been stashed away in  in 29 bank accounts  in Zenith, FBN, and 15 other banks , which many believe is enough  to fund  the country’s Fiscal budget  over the last three years. Take for instance the proposed budget for the 2023, Fiscal year as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly this 2022 was N20.5 trillion, the highest budgetary presentation to the Lawmakers over the  for approvallast seven years.

The Federal government may have engaged one Muhammed. T.  Ismail , a private investigator, who was said to have mobilised   his team,and moved into action in an  effort to recover  the looted funds   through  the office of  Ndarani, a senior Advocate  ,&Co(Solace  Law Chambers) . The team was said to have met a brick -wall.

The private investigators were said to have ccried out that some vested interests in the Presidency, CBN and Zenith bank who may not have found their involvement in the investigation to identify the banks where the looted funds are domicile funny were determined to sabotage them but that was how far they could go.

.  The alleged sabotage by the  presidency, officials of the CBN AND Zenith bank ,  may not have   stopped the Private Investigator and his team from doing their job. This is evident as they were said produced a report of their instigation and thus, made a full deposition: Brief on the recovery and forfeiture of over N70 trillion of looted funds by few Nigerians in Suit No. HC/L/CS968/2021 in Court.

As a prelude to the recovery of the funds, the private investigators were said to have arranged a meeting with the office of Abubakar Malami, the minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, on January 19, 2021, ‘ ‘‘to discuss details  and procedures’’.

Malami: Minister Of Justice And Attorney General of the Federation

 Note that the private investigators had identified the 29 bank Accounts where a combined sum of over N70 trillion belonging to the Nigerian government was hidden. The private investigators may have shocked Nigerians when they stated in June 1st, 2022, in a letter of instructions from the minister and which also listed the 29 bank Accounts’’ in 17 banks in Nigeria where the looted funds were domiciled.

There are indications that three Accounts stand out which said to have been   were said to have been opened in Zenith bank, and FBN. The Accounts in the FBN, were said to have been domiciled in both local and foreign currency.

 The Zenith bank name was said to have been opened in the name of NNPC(REM/ACC/PRIVATE,  with Acct. No. 1012280444. I  N32 billion, was said to have been lodged into the Account by the operator. The two Accounts in FBN,  Accounts: 2006367288,2005942905, bearing   NNPC/NAOC IPP SECURITY and NNPC/NAOC IPP SECURITY, respectively  were said to have Account balance of  N147 billion and $299,613.72 respectively.

Going by the report of the private Investigators  which was said to have been deposited in a Lagos Federal High Court ,and which had made ta closely guided  secret over the last seven years a public knowledge   may  have forced officials of  Zenith bank to woke up from sleep, stating that the N32 billion  in Account No. 12280444 with Account name NNPC(REMACC/PRIVATE) has been transferred into NNPC remittance (CoastalPRD Sales)Account No.1010654418 from t was eventually transferred to CBN/TSA Account on the January 7th, 2016,barely eight months in Buhari first term in office.The questions on the lips of  most people was why did it take the bank   such long time to speak out  until the private Investigators have exposed how Nigigerian government funds are being cornered  for private use by  few Nigerians.

Another shocking revelation that was said to have been made by the private Investigators was  the fact  Account No.1012280444 with Zenith bank  has five BVNs as  follows: 2217335534,22376914983,221934440291,22367697055 and22235680190.

The Private Investigators, going by their interaction with the Zenith bank officials were said to have uncovered   that the operator of the  bank Account   has not been able to supply  Statement of Accounts to date. The bank could not provide pictures of the five BVN owners.

The bank may have tried to exonerate itself from the fraud when it said that   Account No. .1012280444 and other Accounts being Investigated   with the N32 billion lodgement belongs to one Mrs. Okoro Comfort.

The bank was said to volunteer information that  BVN 2236767055 belongs  to  one Mr. Okam Eze Ezenna, who according to the bank receives transactions alert from two phone Numbers: 08139383487 and 08130734041, which belongs to Mrs. Comfort.  

Given that the Private Investigators have exposed  the operators of the Zenith Account where the N32 billion was lodged in Zenith bank,  the question asked  concerned Nigerians  is : What is  holding back  the hand of Justice  to declare  total forfeiture  of  thse stolen funds to the FG.

In fighting corruptio , the Katsina born Nigerian President  had called for collaborative  efforts , stressing  that ‘’if  we do no kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria’’.  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy , during Former President Goodluck Jonthan’s Administration and now Director General,  World Trade Organiation, WTO, had said in her book  that it is dangerous to fight corruption’’,  that those fighting  menace  ‘‘need to equip themselves to do so’’.

Drawing on her experience  as Nigeria’s former Finance minister  and that her team, she describes   the dangers, pitfalls  and successes in fighting corruption. She may have given an insight that fraud  is deeply  incoroirated in Nigeria.  

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