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Obono-Obla: We’re investigating PEF GM over alleged money laundering

Obono-Obla: We’re investigating PEF GM over alleged money laundering
July 09
22:55 2019

Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman of the special presidential investigation panel for the recovery of public properties, says investigations are underway into allegations of money laundering against Goddy Nnadi, general manager (corporate services), at the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board.

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Obono-Obla was speaking at a news conference in Abuja, on Tuesday.

He said the investigation became necessary after a non-governmental organisation (NGO) had, through a petition, drawn the attention of the panel to the financial misconduct against the PEF GM.

The chairman said the petition was further approved and forwarded to the director operations on June 10, for investigation and report.

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Some of the allegations against Nnadi include money laundering, corrupt enrichment and acquisition of wealth beyond legitimate earnings.

TheCable had reported how Greatwood Hotels Limited, established in Owerri, Imo state, in 2015, was traced to Nnadi and how he was arrested for “breach of civil service rules and abuse of office”.

Obono-Obla, however, said after carrying out a thorough appraisal of documents sighted by the panel, it was discovered that the accused person operated corporate accounts with Galbani and Greatwood Hotels.

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“It was also deduced that the total inflow of money into the suspect’s accounts in various financial institutions amounts to N2.2 billion, 302, 964 dollars, 11, 100 Euro and 2,000 pounds,” he said.

“Most of the inflow came into the suspect’s account from 2011 till date.

“His BVN is associated with 18 different bank accounts which include Naira, Euro and Pound Sterling.”

The chairman said the PEF GM failed to declare these assets, adding that it was “against the law for a director in the federal public service not to declare all his assets”.

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“This is against the Constitution and the Recovery of Public Property Special Provision Act 2004 under which the panel was set up,” he said.

The chairman said Aisha Usma, general manager operations of PEF, was also discovered to have operated nine accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank with a total financial inflow of N1.4 billion.

“We found that Usman’s accounts were as a result of the payment of large sums of money by companies operating in the oil and gas industry,” he said.

HEDA CALLS FOR PROSECUTION OF NNADI

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The Human and Environmental Agenda (HEDA), a civil society group, also called for the prosecution of officials of the PEF alleged to be involved in the mismanagement of the board’s accounts.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Olanrewaju Suraju, chairman of HEDA, said it was appalling to discover that Nnadi was using public funds to “feather personal interests”.

HEDA also accused Usman of fraud, saying it had been “reliably informed” that she lives above “her legitimate means”.

“We are in possession of documents showing several companies that are allegedly regularly paying into the personal accounts of Mr Goddy Nnadi,” HEDA said.

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“We have been reliably informed that Aisha Usman lives above her legitimate means and is said to own jewelry shop and property in Dubai.

“There are clear indications of abuse of office and public funds by these officials, leading to large scale corruption in the savage episode.

“There are rife speculations that N4.2bn was found in the accounts of general manager, operations, Mrs Usman’s account and another more than N2bn found in the executive secretary’s account.

“We call for the immediate prosecution of these officials who have put their fingers in huge funds belonging to the public.

“The government of president Buhari has betrayed the trust of Nigerians in the government’s capacity to confront corruption without political consideration, as exemplified in the recent compromise and ultimate withdrawal of corruption charges against senator Danjuma Goje.

“This organization is, therefore, using the opportunity of this press conference to demand: the conclusive investigation of this case involving PEF senior officials; complete recovery of all money and assets associated with corrupt enrichment of staff beyond their legitimate earnings; and prosecution of all those indicted by the special panel.

“We shall continue to monitor developments through media reports and intelligence gathering. Any attempt by the government or its official to influence, frustrate or terminate investigation will be further exposed and ultimately resisted by the people.”

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