Anti-graft agencies in the country are currently grappling with a case of monumental fraud in the Ministry of Environment involving alleged unauthorised transfer of N924.98 million from the ministry’s account with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to the accounts of some organisations in four different banks.
Subsequently, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has taken into custody four suspects involved in the alleged fraud.
One of the key suspects in the alleged looting of the ministry’s funds, Mr. Adeolu Adeyanju, a Chief Executive Officer of Detwinx Global Services Ltd., whose company allegedly received the sum of N465,193,460.05 in its account with Zenith Bank, was said to have been picked up the ICPC.
The other three suspects were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and handed over to the ICPC, following an existing inter-agency cooperation between the two anti-graft bodies.
Mr. Adeyanju, who is said to have fled to a neighbouring country when the fraud was uncovered before he was arrested by ICPC after a manhunt, allegedly withdrew the said money on the same day the money was transferred from the FCMB account.
The three other suspects are Usman Omoh Sani, who is the brother to a key suspect named Murphy Sani and now at large; Raphael Orim, managing director of De-Ormat Furniture and Abubakar Mamman Mutari of Afazuwa Ventures (Bureau De Change).
According to ICPC, they were all associated with the illegally transferred money or played a role in the withdrawals therefrom.
The spokesperson for ICPC, Mr Folu Olamiti, noted in a statement yesterday that the case was reported to the Commission by the Ministry of Environment via a letter dated 1st December, 2014.
According to Olamiti, upon receipt of the petition, the commission commenced investigation by immediately freezing the affected bank accounts and inviting, arresting and interrogating several staff of the banks and officials of the ministry.
He noted that a similar report had also been made by the ministry’s bank to the EFCC, which later transferred the case file to the ICPC.
Details released by the ICPC showed how the money was allegedly distributed to the organisations through the four banks namely: Access Bank: De- Ormart Furniture Company Ltd- N143,562,532.50; First Bank: Felitex Global Enterprises Ltd- N39,051,359.00 and Afazuwa Ventures- N43,182,404.00; Zenith Bank: Detwinx Global Services Ltd -N468,794,613.79 and Alozen Pharmacy Nig. Ltd-N1,397,899,494.00; and UBA: Federal Board of Inland Revenue- N92,499,553.60
Olamiti added that the ICPC has so far blocked the sum of N459,789,456.76 in most of the banks they were transferred to.
He said, “This includes the sum of N92,490,553.60 transferred to UBA purportedly as tax remittance in an account designated as Federal Board of Inland Revenue Account and which has been returned to FCMB as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) denied operating such an account in UBA.
“The sum of N358,695,789.50 has been mopped up and transferred to the ICPC’s Recovery Account to prevent any further diversions while investigation is still ongoing”.