The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says the sum of N27bn, which formed part of the proceeds of the sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, was shared among top government functionaries in 2014.
The EFCC disclosed this in a court paper filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 5, 2017. The total sum of N27,188,232,208.20, allegedly looted by the named officials was said to be meant for the settlement of the insurance premiums for disengaged members of staff of PHCN. Among the top government officials, named in the alleged scam, were the then Chief of Staff to the then President Goodluck Jonathan, Brig. Gen. Jones Arogbofa (retd.); the then Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla; and the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali.
Others also named in the scam are a cousin to Jonathan, Robert Azibaola; a former Director-General, Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki; and a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil. A supporting affidavit, filed alongside the EFCC’s ex parte application, stated how the money was shared.
The commission alleged that through proxies, Arogbofa got N150m; Dikki N1bn; Igali, N475m; Otunla N3.6bn; Jonathan’s cousin, Azibaola, N2.5bn; and Wakil, N118m. The application alleged that of the total sum of N27,188,232,208, allegedly misappropriated by the government officials, the sums of N6,584,785, US $222,000, and N2,028,800,000 worth of shares of Aso Savings Limited had been recovered from the suspects.
The document, obtained by The PUNCH on Sunday, stated that the recovered money was being kept in the EFCC’s Recovered Funds Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria. It added that apart from the monetary recovery, 12 houses as well as two pieces of land, located in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja, and which were allegedly bought with proceeds of the loot, had also been recovered.
The seized properties include two units of four-bedroom detached duplex (Houses 12 & 14) at Alexander Miller Estate, Lekki- Lagos; one unit four-bedroom semi- detached terrace duplex (block C11, Unit 7) at Lekki Garden Estate Paradise 3, Lekki, Lagos; one unit of four-bedroom semi- detached(House 4b) at Olive Court, Agodi, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State; and two units of three-bedroom flat with one room boys quarters at 6a & b Ogedengbe Street, Apapa, Lagos. Others include one unit four-bedroom terrace duplex with one one-bedroom flat boys quarters (House 23, Flat 6) at Plot 100/101Gudu District, Isa Mohammed Street, Cadastral Zone, B01, FCT, Abuja; and one unit bedroom detached (House No. D1077) at House No. D1077 at Brains & Hammers Estate, Apo, Dutse, Abuja.
They also include one unit six-bedroom detached (House No.D1069) at house No.D1069 at Brains & Hammers Estate, Apo Dutse, Abuja; one unit three-bedroom flat (Flat 4A Hyde Tower) at 16a Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; a five- bedroom (detached) and three-bedroom bungalow both at Plot 145, Tarkwa Close, Wuse II, Abuja. The rest are one unit plot of land, measuring 921.26 square meters at Plot 1086 Cadastral Zone, B10 Daki-Biyu, FCT, Abuja, and one unit plot of land, measuring 2486.12 square meters at Plot 2317 Nbora District, Cadastral Zone C06 FCT, Abuja.
The commission, by its ex parte application, is seeking orders of interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria” of the sums of N6,584,785,000.00 and US $222,000.00 “recovered in the course of investigation and presently in the possession of the EFCC in its Recovered Funds Account domiciled at the CBN.”
It also seeks the interim forfeiture of “units of ASO savings shares worth the sum of N2,028,800,000.00 “recovered in the course of investigation”. It said the share certificates were “in the possession of the EFCC.” The application also seeks an “order of interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria of the properties allegedly “recovered in the course of investigation from several persons and bodies and presently under the control of the EFCC (the applicant).”
The commission is also asking the court to direct the publication of a notice in any national daily newspaper “inviting any person(s) or body, who may have interest in the funds and /or assets/properties to show cause, within 14 days of the publication of the order of final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria, why the said funds and assets/properties forfeiture order should not be made.”
The commission, through a member of its Special Investigation Committee, Madaki Yakubu, who deposed to a supporting affidavit, explained that it received intelligence report concerning the looted N27bn in August 2016.