Suspect flees as EFCC recovers N4bn in secret accounts
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Tuesday revealed it has discovered two bank accounts containing a joint sum of N2bn suspected to be the proceeds of crime, following a tip off from a whistle-blower.
The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that the money belongs to a former deputy governorship candidate in Niger State.
The commission, however, did not reveal the identity of the candidate.
The EFCC added that the suspect was on the run as well as the account officer who was in charge of the accounts.
The statement read in part, “A tip-off by a whistle-blower on Tuesday led to another discovery by the EFCC of a staggering sum of N4bn suspected to be proceeds of crime. Investigations as to the owner of the funds revealed that the money belongs to a former deputy governorship candidate in Niger State.
“The suspect used the names of two companies – Katah Property & Investment Limited and Sadiq Air Travel Agency – in laundering the funds. Each of the company has N2bn fixed in its deposit account domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank.
“The suspected owner of the account and the account officer are currently on the run.”
The EFCC had recently commenced investigations of the immediate-past Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, and some other key members of his administration.
Aliyu, who ruled between 2007 and 2015, was accused of an alleged N5bn scam as well as other alleged cases of fraud.
It will be recalled that the current Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, as well as members of the House of Assembly had called for a probe of Aliyu’s administration which they described as fraudulent.
Bello said there were several questionable transactions the former administration must account for.
The discrepancies, according to him, were discovered by the financial management committee set up by his administration, lamenting that one of such discrepancies was discovered in the state and local government joint account where a massive fraud was perpetrated.
Bello said, “We instituted a financial management committee to look at all major financial transactions of the state and local governments from May 2007 to May 2015. The committee has made substantial progress and the findings are quite revealing.
“A review of the operations of some of the major bank accounts of the state and the Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation Committee over the last eight years revealed some despicable patterns such as huge cash withdrawals by government officials, private individuals and PDP officials and members.”