Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Great Nigerian Robbery: 2011-2015


1. N195 Billion Maina Pension Scam 

It is believed that Alhaji Maina misappropriated billions of naira worth of pension funds, which he claimed to have recovered from pension thieves. The senate committee probing pension funds management accused him of mopping up pension funds from banks and depositing the money in his private accounts. According to the committee, this mopping of such funds had made it impossible to pay thousands of pensioners across the country for months. When he was summoned to appear and clear the air on the committee’s findings, Alhaji Maina instituted a N1.5bn case against the senate and the inspector general of police. Things came to a head last week when the senate passed a resolution asking the presidency to sack Alhaji Maina within two days or face its wrath. Although the presidency had initially insisted that only the head of service could sack Maina, it subsequently changed its tone and ordered that disciplinary action should be taken against him for absconding from his duty post without permission. -
Punishment: None, fled Nigeria.

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2. Kerosene Subsidy Scam

The Former Governor of the Central bank and Now Emir of Kano Mr Sanusi’s Had shown that the kerosene subsidy was eliminated in 2009 by a directive of the late president Umaru Yar’Adua. Further evidence, in the form of official data from across Nigeria, shows that nowhere in the country is kerosene sold at a subsidised rate. It is bought by the NNPC at N150, sold to marketers at N40-N50, but retails at N170-N250. Mr Sanusi estimates that $100m goes astray this way each month.
“The margin of 300-500 per cent over purchase price is economic rent, which never got to the man on the street. In dollar terms every vessel of kerosene imported by NNPC with federation money cost about $30m and it was sold at $10 or $11m generating rent of $20m per vessel to the syndicate,” he writes.

It was learnt that since the national assembly members concluded their investigations, no officials of the NNPC or the marketers have been sanctioned, thus emboldening them to continue to import kerosene and allocate to themselves and their cronies.
Apparently due to alleged pecuniary benefits, the NNPC has continued to import kerosene and allocate in questionable circumstances to individuals and groups at the ex-depot price of N40.90.

But rather than selling the product at the subsidised price of N50 per litre at filling stations, the beneficiaries of these allocations sell the product to middlemen at N95 or N100 per litre at the gates of the depots.

These middlemen, it was learnt, truck the product to the filling stations and sell between N130 and N150 per litre.

It was alleged that marketers give some of their allocations to some top PPMC officials to ensure that they turn blind eye to the scam.

The failure of the NNPC to implement a presidential directive removing subsidy from kerosene has fueled suspicion among the stakeholders.

Punishment: None

3. $6bn Fuel Subsidy Scam 

Nigeria's parliament has discussed a report said to reveal that $6bn (£4bn) has been defrauded from the fuel subsidy fund in the past two years.
The debate, which was televised live, made official findings that have been widely leaked in recent days.
The fuel sector probe was set up in the wake of angry nationwide protests in January after the government tried to remove a fuel subsidy.
Nigeria is a major oil producer but has to import most of its fuel.

Punishment: Ongoing court cases, no convictions. House of reps report tainted by Farouk Lawan bribery setup

4. 123bn Naira Fraud - Stephen Oronsaye

A damning report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has indicted a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, over an alleged N123billion fraud perpetrated during his tenure, between 2009 and 2010.

The 169-page report, entitled “Special Audit of the Accounts of the Civil Pensions,” according to an online news medium, Premium Times, found Oronsaye guilty of allegedly presiding over the looting of the nation’s resources during his tenure.

The audit by the auditor-general arose from the work of a Special Audit Team constituted by the federal government in May 2011 to conduct a comprehensive examination of the accounts of the Civilian Pension Department domiciled in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

The audit, which covered the period 2005 to 2010, uncovered monumental financial irregularities, opaque transactions, irregular and abnormal running costs, and outright stealing and kick backs said to have reached its zenith during the 18 months that Oronsaye served as Head of Service.

According to Premium Times, the Auditor General’s office completed its assignment and submitted its report to government in 2012.

But no action has been taken to bring all those indicted to book

Punishment: No action taken

5. Police Pension Fund Fraud 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned the ex-permanent secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, now a director in the Police Pension Office, Atiku Abubakar Kigo; the chief accountant, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang, and four others before an Abuja high court on an 18-count charge of conspiracy, breach of trust and embezzlement of N32.8 billion police pension funds.

The six accused persons were docked before Justice Hussain Baba to whom the case was reassigned following a controversial judgement of the first trial judge, Justice Abubakar Talba: he gave a light sentence to one of the accused, John Yusuf, who pleaded guilty to a three-count charge.

But Attang, who was arraigned by the EFCC for the first time in connection with the alleged fraud, was granted N10million bail and two sureties in like sum.

Those who were re-arraigned include Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, Sani Habila Zira, Christian Madubuike, and John Yusuf who had been convicted.

Punishment: accused got a two years sentence or 750,000 fine. Paid 750,000

6. Stella Oduah car purchase scandal

The committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the N255m bulletproof car scandal in the aviation ministry has indicted the Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah.

It was gathered in Abuja on Sunday that the report of the presidential committee tallied with some findings of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the scandal.

In October, there were reports that with the approval of the minister, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority purchased two bulletproof BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255m.

The development sparked a countrywide controversy with many Nigerians and groups calling for her sacking.

Punishment: None

7. NNPC missing $20billion naira.

Even in a country where untold oil wealth disappears into the pockets of the elite, the oil corruption scheme he was investigating seemed outsize — and he threatened to lay it bare at a meeting with Nigeria’s top bankers.

The rabble-rouser was none other than the governor of the country’s central bank. Weeks later, however, he was out, fired by Nigeria’s president in an episode that has shaken the Nigerian economy, filled newspapers and airwaves here, and even inspired a rare street demonstration.

The bankers were going to have to open their books, the governor, Lamido Sanusi, warned them at the recent meeting. He wanted to see where the money was going — $20 billion from oil sales that, mysteriously, was not making its way to the treasury, in a country that could soon be declared Africa’s biggest economy and already attracts the most direct foreign investment on the continent, according to the United Nations.

Punishment: Whistle blower was fired. The Audit report later indicts NNPC, corporation to refund $1.48billion

8. $15 million in Private Jet Arm Scandal

A private jet that conveyed $9.3 million cash from Nigeria to South Africa for an arms deal between the two countries, had Nigerian crew members, and passengers from Israel and Austria, new documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES in Johannesburg have shown.

Punishment: government claims involvement in scandal. No further explanations to individuals on board. Blames US for black market arms deal

9. Abba Moro Immigration recruitment scandal

The dust refuses to settle on the ugly Immigration recruitment Scandal that claimed the lives of about 20 unemployed Nigerians across the nation last

week-end. Though President Jonathan earlier in the week canceled the recruitment exercise, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro still have unanswered questions.

Per Second News investigations earlier in the week indicted Drexel Nig Ltd, and the minister as culprits in the national tragedy. Many questions are begging for answer by the minister of interior or the Comptroller-General of Immigration Services.

It will be pertinent for answers on who was responsible for the collection of the N1, 000 amount paid by the applicants and to whose account was the money paid to?

Punishment: none, Abba Moro is still a minister after supervising extortion from graduates and death of 20 graduates. On Friday, 13th March 2015, he stood by the President as 33 Recruitment Letters and N75 million was given to the families of slain applicants as compensation.

10. Malabu Oil Scandal

The $1.1billion proceeds paid to Malabu oil company was shared by some private firms owned by people very close to the presidency, a report by an anti-graft agency shows.

The sum of $1.092bn was paid by ENI AGIP and Shell into depository Escrow Account domiciled in JP Morgan Chase Co, London as proceeds for the sale of oil block OPL 245 on 25, March 2011, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) report, which investigated the deal shows.

The report said that by August 16, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke and the State Minister for Finance Dr. Yerima Lawal Ngama "instructed the release of $401, 540, 000" into Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd accounts domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria and $400 million into another Malabu accounts with Keystone Bank (former Bank PHB).

The EFCC report said "JP Morgan complied with this instruction and made the transfers on 23 August, 2011." Malabu, controlled by Chief Dan Etete, ex-oil minister, who was convicted of money laundering in France in 2007, further shared these monies to several other accounts belonging to individuals with very close ties to the presidency.

The following day, of the $400 million deposited at the Malabu's Keystone bank account, $336 million was transferred to Rocky Top Resources Ltd's account No 1005556552 with Abuja CBD branch of the same bank. The remaining balance of $60 million was transferred to account No 3610042596 (allegedly belonging to Etete) for forex trading, leaving zero balance with Malabu's Keystone bank account.

Of the $336 million transferred into the Rocky Top Resources account, $165 million was subsequently transferred into various individual accounts, leaving the balance of only $171 million, the anti-graft agency's report said.

Rocky Top Resources, the report said, was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with 100,000 shares capital only and is owned by one Abubakar Aliyu.

The report said that first payment of $401 million to Malabu's First Bank account was distributed directly to A Group Construction Co. Ltd-also co-owned by Abubakar Aliyu ($157m); Mega Tech Engr. Co. Ltd ($180M); Imperial Union Ltd ($34m); Novel Property and Development Ltd-also co-owned by Abubakar Aliyu ($30m); leaving the balance of $143 million Malabu's account. And "reasons for this payment is yet to be ascertained," the EFCC report said.

Attempt to get the reactions of Adoke yesterday was not successful as he neither picked his calls nor replied text messages sent to his mobile phones. Ngama could also not be reached for comment.

When contacted on the matter EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, asked for more time to respond to the questions.

Later, he told our reporter through the phone that he needed more time, explaining that the EFCC official that will brief him on the investigations was unavailable and promised to call back.

Punishment: None

11. Crude Oil Theft Scandal

According to President Goodluck Jonathan, 300,000-400,000 barrels of oil per day, or more than 10% of all Nigeria's production, is being lost at a cost to the state and oil companies of around £1bn a month – more than is spent on education and the health of the nation's 168 million people. Not only is Nigerian oil theft helping to keep the world price of oil high, it is causing corruption and social disorder, says the president.

Punishment: None, ex militant given contract worth billions to secure waterways. Rather than a decrease in oil theft, a marked increase is seen.

12. Arms scandal

Corruption in the Nigerian military is gargantuan and so vicious that even money meant for bullets to fight Boko Haram terrorists is stolen by top generals in the Nigerian army, an American official with inside knowledge made the shocking revelation on Wednesday.

Sarah Sewall, the under secretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, said despite Nigeria’s $5.8 billion security budget this year, “corruption prevents supplies as basic as bullets and transport vehicles from reaching the front lines of the struggle against Boko Haram.”

Morale is low, and desertions are common among soldiers in Nigeria’s Seventh Army’s division, the main fighting unit in the northeast, Ms. Sewal said during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

In another shocking revelation, the White House disclosed also on Wednesday that it has deployed 80 troops to Chad in Central Africa in addition to the 30 men already in Nigeria ‎for the rescue of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram on 14 April, but the U.S. Army as the Pentagon said on Monday will not share raw data with Nigerian soldiers as some of them are Boko‎ Haram members.

“On Monday, the Pentagon announced an agreement that would allow the United States to share some intelligence, including aerial imagery, with Nigerian officials, but not raw intelligence data. American officials are wary of sharing too much because they believe that Boko Haram has infiltrated the Nigerian security services,” the New York Times said.

The White House said ‎the American military personnel are not ground troops but mostly Air Force crew, maintenance specialists and security officers for unarmed predator drones that will help search for the girls.

“These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” the White House said in a statement formally notifying Congress about the deployment.

The U.S. military has been flying manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft over the Sambisa forest where the girls are believed to be held.

The monumental revelations of corruption in the Nigerian army came the same day the army in Nigeria blamed the media for a negative perception among Nigerians.

Punishment: not a publicly acknowledged problem rather mutinous soldiers are sentenced to death.

13. Ekiti Gate

The audio recordings depict the meeting as being attended by the eventual “winner” of the election, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti; Senator Iyiola Omisore; a man identified as Honorable Abdulkareem; the Minister for Police Affairs Caleb Olubolade; and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro who was at the time the Minister of State for Defence. Mr. Chris Uba came to Ekiti with huge stash cash and soldiers from the East to carry out the assignment.

The 37-minute recording details the conversation between these men as they bribed Brigadier General Momoh with a promotion for his assistance in carrying out election fraud in Ekiti. In it, Obanikoro is clearly heard informing the group of men, “[I] am not here for a tea party, am on special assignment by the President.”

SaharaReporters further received credible intelligence that President Goodluck Jonathan had instructed the Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh, to use the army in arresting and intimidating opposition politicians before and during the election. The audio recording provides exact details of the plot, with the collaborators almost degenerating into physical combat.

14. Ballot Papers

In another deal, the nation's equivalent of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing took out a $21-million loan at a staggering 22% interest rate to buy equipment supposedly to print ballots for next month's election. Emefiele is also chairman of the bureau, and the loan came from the bank he used to run. The bureau did not have the contract to print the ballots. An Emefiele spokesman has denied any hanky-panky

According to numerous civil servants I've interviewed, public procurement invoices are often grossly inflated. “When it comes to a job that attracts money,” a defense ministry IT worker told me last year, “only the director and the deputy director have knowledge of the real terms of the deal.... If it's 10 million, the director says, ‘Make it 12 million.” Procurement will say, ‘Make it 15 million.' And the permanent secretary says, ‘Make it 25.'”

15. $500 Million Dollar defence Contract.

SaharaReporters has obtained documents relating to a scandalously inflated $500 million defense contract that President Goodluck Jonathan awarded to Arthur Eze, a Nigerian businessman with a shady past, a close friend of the president and his wife, and a major financier of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
President Goodluck Jonathan
Our security sources said some officers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) were furious over the jumbo contract described by one source as “a pure waste.” The sources, most of them military personnel, told our correspondent that, in addition to its sheer extravagance, the contract has also saddled the Nigerian military with helicopters that have limited or no combat utility.

The documents obtained by our correspondent reveal that Mr. Eze, the chief executive of Triax, received the gigantic sum of $466.5 million in order to weaponize six Puma helicopters with the aid of an Israeli company named Elbit Systems. This meant that each weaponized helicopter cost close to $78 million. “For the price of each helicopter provided by Engineer Arthur Eze, the Air Force could have acquired seven top grade military helicopters,” said one of our sources.

Our sources also noted that the haste with which the contract was initiated, approved and executed raised serious questions. A memo dated November 20, 2014 and submitted by the Chief of Air Staff, A.N. Amosu, revealed that Mr. Eze had on November 4, 2014 submitted a proposal to the office of the National Security Adviser proposing to supply the upgraded helicopters to the NAF. The tone of Mr. Eze’s letter, obtained by us, indicated that he was deeply involved in sourcing and supplying hardware to the Nigerian military as it is embroiled in a fight against Boko Haram militants.

An Air Force officer said he was alarmed at the alacrity with which Mr. Eze’s overinflated proposal was approved by the NSA’s office. The NAF followed with an equally quick endorsement sixteen days later.

One of our sources accused President Jonathan and Mr. Eze of using the refusal of the US to sell Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria as an excuse to engage in a large-scale squandering of funds involving the Federal Government and Mr. Eze’s company, the Triax Company Nigeria Limited. “In the US, a brand new AH Cobra attack helicopter costs around $12 million each,” said a source at the NAF. He added: “That means that, with $400 million, Nigeria could have purchased up to 40 brand new helicopters.”

According to the source, the Cobra attack helicopter is one of the best US-made helicopters. “It is highly effective in the battlefield. It would have given us big battlefield advantage over Boko Haram,” he said.

In an additional proposal, Mr. Eze’s company sought to purchase 4,000 57mm S5 rockets, 400 80mm S8 rockets, 500 general-purpose bombs, and 20,000 units of unguided rockets. His company also received a contract to refurbish three C-130 planes that had been sitting at the hanger of the Nigerian Air Force for several years.

A final invoice Mr. Eze submitted to the Nigerian government showed that he would receive $466, 500,000 to supply six upgraded Puma helicopters, four units of single-seater Sukhoi Su-25K (“Frog-foot”) Soviet-made ground attack jets, and two upgraded Su-25UB trainers for $330 million. In addition, he would receive $14 million for the shipping of platforms/ground support/line replacement of the six Puma helicopters; $44 million for some arms and ammunition earlier proposed; $37 million for the maintenance of C-130 engines, and $40 million for unspecified armaments for the NAF.

Our military sources stated that Mr. Eze’s invoice for the supply of the refurbished aircraft was massively inflated by international and Nigerian standards.

Several of the sources said Triax delivered the substandard equipment after Mr. Eze further padded the cost of the refurbished helicopters and the C-130. The sources revealed that, since February 15, 2015, when Chief of Air Staff Amosu showed off the helicopters and C-130 planes, none of the aircraft has been deployed even once to fight Boko Haram militants. “They are not in any combat-ready condition,” one officer fumed. “We are looking at a total waste of money for no good reason.”

16)Pardon of Diepriye Alamieyesegha. 

Pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Malam Nuhu Ribadu,Wednesday, said that the presidential pardon granted disgraced former governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Dipriye Alamieyeseigha, signifies the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for fighting corruption in the country. Alamieyeseigha and others received presidential pardon from President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, years after the Ribadu-led EFCC, prosecuted him for stealing billions of naira while he was governor of the oil rich state.

17) Mohammed Abacha N446 Billion case. 

The government had Charged Abacha to court on nine counts of stealing against Mohammed in February 2014.

It had accused him of unlawfully receiving about N446.3bn allegedly stolen from its coffers between 1995 and 1998.

But on Wednesday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, asked Justice Mamman Kolo of the FCT High Court to strike out the charges on the grounds of “fresh facts” that just emerged concerning the case.

He was silent on whether new charges would be filed against Mohammed or not.

Efforts to arraign Mohammed on two previous occasions were unsuccessful because of his repeated absence from court.

But he was present in court on Wednesday when a private prosecuting counsel, Daniel Enwelum, informed the court of Adoke’s instruction to discontinue the case.

Applying to court for the withdrawal of the case, Enwelum said, “I have been instructed by the AGF and Minister of Justice to withdraw the charges as presently filed before this court, because there are fresh facts and documents available to him.

Punishment: None

18) Farouk Lawan $3m bribery scandal. 

Lawan had been recorded on Camera collecting a total of $620,000 from Businessman Femi Otedola who was embroiled in the subsidy scandal.
Farouk Lawan had allegedly demanded $3m to look the other way.

Hon. Lawan claimed in his statement to the Special Task Force (STF) that the $620,000 bribery money was handed over to the chairman House Committee on drugs and financial crimes, Adams Jagaba. Jagaba however rubbished the claim and challenged Lawan to prove how the money was given to him.

Thats the Last we heard of that case.

19) Diezanni Allison-Madueke Alleged Links with know front, Kola Aluko

Mr Aluko was reported to have lavished millions of dollars on parties attended by top Models like Naomi Campbell, he is also reported to have purchased a $1.5 million dollar champagne bottle at another party.

The EFCC has since asked The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to arrest oil magnate Kola Aluko after he fled the country to Switzerland with billions of dollars believed to belong to several top politicians.

He is said to have had a dramatic falling out with The Petroleum Minister, Mrs Dezianni Allison-Madueke after which he fled with the proceeds of some of the oil deals she had pushed his way.

Oluwole Isaac writes from Lagos


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