By Stephen Ubanna
More facts have emerged why Abdulraheed, the 41 year-old, Chairman, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission FCC, has beamed his searchlight on the Money Deposit Banks, MDBs, ministries , departments and Agencies. This is because of the high level of fraudulent activities going on in these strategic sectors of the economy.
The EFCC boss may have given out the action plan of the a Commission to curb the excesses of the Bank Chief Executives officers, CEOs, and other top Bankers, when he declared in an interview in the recent publication of the’ EFCCAlert’ that from June 1, 2021, the Commission would be demanding the asset declaration forms of operators in the Nigerian banking sector.
The anti-graft agency Chairman, may have been encouraged to take the bold initiative after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu, a retired Army General to brief him on the activities of the agency and steps so far taken , to smoke out the Corrupt officials in both the public and the private sectors of the economy, particular, Banks and the Ministries, Department s and Agencies, Popular, MIDAs. Those who case to answer were said have been fully investigated and dragged to Court.
Given a further insight into why the decision was taken, he had said that ‘’it was basically to enforce the provisions of the Bank Employees etc, Declaration of Assets Act, 1986. Section 1 of the Act, was said’ to have made it mandatory for every employee of the Bank to make full disclosure of their Assets upon employment and annually in subsequent years’.
It could not be ascertained whether the EFCC officials have started implementing the Law but the message appear to have been sent to the Bank Chief Executive Officers , CEOs, and other top Executives, that it is no longer going to business where dubious transactions are carried out in guise of giving out loans to companies .
Bawa, the EFCC, helmsman, may have known that all is not well with the nation’s banking sector and his insistence that the CEOs and other top Bankers must declare their assets, with the case involving Diezani Alinson Madueke, a former minister of Petroleum Resources during erstwhile President Good luck Administration.
The former minister had purchased a property from a Managing Director of one of the Banks operating in the country after Negotiation had been completed at an estimated cost of $37.5million. Bawa, the incumbent EFCC, boss as said to have been involved in investigation her but the name of the Band Managing directors remained a closely guided secret.
Appearing on Channels Television, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, Sunrise Daily, the EFCC, CEO, had said that the unnamed Bank’s Managing Director had approached the minister with the offer because he knows she can afford it and she agreed to buy it after a successful Negotiations.
The Bayelsa state born minister of Petroleum resources, may have proved the Bank top Chief Executive right that she could afford the expensive property, believed to have been located in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, when she made an initial payment of the sum of $20 million to him without blinking. The Amount , according to the EFCC Chairman, was, ’safely evacuated from her official residence , with the help of a bullion van that was said to have provided by the Bank’. The Bank officials were said to have put the 420 million into their system , which was said to have used in settling the property developer owed.
The deal may have given Bawa and his Investigative officers, a mind set that’’ the Real Estate was fast becoming a major sector of the economy for alleged money laundering in the country by Corrupt officials in both the private and the public sectors of the economy.
Recall, that some former Bank Managing Directors and other top Bank officials,, have been standing trial, since 2011, during the regime of Ibrahim Lamorde, who is now an Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, and date, over their alleged fraudulent transactions while still in the employ of the Bank. The EFCC, new helmsman, who is unrelenting in ensuring that the agency dispose all the Corrupt cases hanging on the high profile individuals, in Court, may have won the case against Francis Atuche, a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, now rebranded Keystone Bank.
. Atuche, who had been trial in a Federal High Court in Lagos, since 2011, on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, was handed down a six years jail term for dipping his hands into the coffers of the Bank t fraudulently remove N25.7 billion , without any sign of repayment.
The anti-graft agency had said that out of the N25.7 billion , the former Bank PHB, had fraudulently taken away from the Bank coffers, he had claimed that N14.7 billion was given out as loan to some Companies which many believe was not true. The Commission may have cleared the air, when it said that the huge amount that was fraudulently taken from the bank by Auche, the erstwhile CEO, of Bank PHB, ‘’ was converted to personal use’ .
He may not have denied the allegations with all the overwhelming evidence before him to show how the money was siphoned out of the bank. He was said to have used Future View Securities, Extra Oil Limited, Resolution Trust and Investment Limited including Tradjek Nigeria Limited to carry out the illegal transactions in the Bank.He was said to have also used N11 billion of the total stolen amount from Bank, to purchase about N984,375,000 units of the Bank shares, thus making him and the family the majority shareholders .
Given an insider information on the billions naira used by Convicted Atuche, in purchasing the billions naira units of shares in the Bank, the EFCC, investigators in their report had said that he had used described it as loan to some Companies including Guesstrade Services, Sentron Trading, Montrax Investico, Claremount Management Limited, Trenton Trade , among others to do so.
Indeed, with the successful prosecution of Atuche, the former Bank PHB Managing Director, who had been standing trial since 2011, Bawa, the EFCC, Chairman has sent a signal to thieves in the banks and those in the MIDAs, who have ‘turned all their Contract awards to emergency contracts’, that the game is up.
This is because the EFCC, Authorities have put strategies in place ‘ to check Corruptions in MIDAs, by resorting to plan B, that is,’ the use of Corruption risks assessments’. He was said to have carried along the supervising ministers of the MDAs, in the implementation of the new Corruption risks assessment strategy , to checkmate Corruption in the public sector
Informed sources told The Value News that he has written the Temipre Slyva, minister of State, ministry of Petroleum Resources and Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation, ‘to commence the process of Corruption risks assessments of all the Parastatals under their respective ministries ‘to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly’.
This may have sent jitters to the MDAs, CEOs, who are now more cautious in their approval of multi-million dollar or naira, contracts.