The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced properties worth N1.5bn to a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.
Our correspondent learnt on Sunday that as part of investigations into an alleged case of money laundering, the EFCC discovered some properties, which Dudafa had not been able to explain where he got the money to buy them.
The commission discovered a mansion in the Agungi area of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, allegedly belonging to Dudafa, said to be worth over N300m.
Apart from the Lagos properties, an edifice in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, was also traced to Dudafa.
A source in the EFCC said, “When we are probing a person, we usually investigate his lifestyle and see if he or she is living above his means. Since Dudafa has already been arraigned for money laundering, we decided to launch further investigations into his lifestyle.
“We found a white mansion in the Agungi area of Lagos, very close to Lekki. He has about four exotic cars in the compound. We did not seal it off because people live there. So, we just placed a sticker on the fence to indicate that the property is a subject of investigation.
“Dudafa also has a twin duplex around the Chevron Estate. We did not seal it off because he has rented the property out. However, he has a parcel of land around the place, which we have sealed off.
“We have arraigned Dudafa and if he is found guilty, he will forfeit the properties.”
Dudafa first became a subject of EFCC investigation when a former Aide-de-Camp to Jonathan, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe (retd.), told detectives that he handed over N10bn (converted to foreign currency) to Dudafa on the eve of the 2014 Peoples Democratic Party presidential primary in which Jonathan was the sole aspirant.
The money given to Dudafa was allegedly used in bribing PDP delegates.
The money was allegedly diverted by the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) from a Signature Bonus Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The N10bn is believed to have been diverted from oil receipts as follows: $5m (November 14, 2014); $47m (November 27, 2014); €4m (December 3, 2014) and €1.6m (December 24, 2014).
While Adegbe was arrested but later released, Dudafa was said to have fled to either Dubai or a Caribbean country where he stayed for several months.
Dudafa was finally arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on April 18, 2016.
The anti-graft agency said the former presidential aide returned N900m to the Federal Government.
Dudafa is also believed to be a front for Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of the former President.
Patience had said in a sworn affidavit two weeks ago that she gave Dudafa some money to help her open an account at Skye Bank.
She, however, stated that Dudafa used the money to open five accounts of which only one bore her name while the other four were opened in the names of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.
The current balance of the four accounts is $15,591,700 while the money in Patience’s personal account stands at $5m.
The four companies last week pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Patience risks losing the $15m to the government.
One Sammie Somiari, who deposed to an affidavit on behalf of Patience, claimed that the former President’s wife was the rightful owner of the $15m and that Dudafa helped her to open the bank accounts in 2010.
The deponent claimed that Patience was the sole signatory to the accounts.
President Buhari Accuses Governors of Stealing LG Funds
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has once again accused state governors of stealing monthly allocation due to local government under them.
The president spoke at a parley with members of the Senior Executive Course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the president stated that it beats anyone’s imagination how some governors collected money on behalf of council areas in their states, only to remit just half of such allocation to the council chairmen, who would further deplete the remittance by filching it. Investors King learnt.
‘‘I found it necessary to digress after reading my speech and this digression is a result of my personal experience. What they did, this is my personal experience, if the money from the Federation Account to the state is about N100m, N50m will be sent to the chairman, but he will sign that he received N100m. The governor will pocket the balance and share it with whoever he wants to share it with,” the president narrated.
‘‘This is what’s happening. This is Nigeria. It’s a terrible thing; you cannot say the person who was doing this is not educated. He was a qualified lawyer, he was experienced, yet he participated in this type of corruption.” he queried.
Furthermore, the president clarified that state governors and local government chairmen should be held responsible for the underdevelopment in the rural areas noting that most of the local governments lack basic amenities.
Similarly, the National Union of Local Government Employees on Thursday backed the position of the president on the embezzlement and mismanagement of local government funds.
Responding to Buhari’s position, the President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Hakeem Ambali, said Buhari was merely stating the obvious.
The NULGE President nevertheless admonished the president to go beyond the statement and ensure governors, especially those in APC to sign the local government autonomy bill into law.
“He should go beyond that statement. He is the leader of the party, he should ask them to sign the autonomy into law; he is the leader of the governors,’’ he said.
Ramaphosa Braces for Calls to Resign Over $580,000 Theft at Farm
The panel found the president may have violated sections of the constitution following a theft of $580,000 that was stashed in a sofa at a game farm he owns.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s allies are steeling themselves before a meeting of the governing party’s top leaders at which he’s likely to face calls for his resignation.
The African National Congress’s National Executive Committee will on Thursday discuss the findings by an advisory panel that there may be a case for Ramaphosa’s impeachment. The panel found the president may have violated sections of the constitution following a theft of $580,000 that was stashed in a sofa at a game farm he owns.
The release of the panel’s report on Wednesday night triggered a slump in the rand. The NEC meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Party officials met with the ANC’s chief whip and the speaker of parliament to discuss the report on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. A group of NEC members sympathetic to Ramaphosa held a meeting of their own, said the people who asked not to be identified discussing private party matters.
Pule Mabe, the ANC’s spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent by text message.
The meeting of Ramaphosa’s supporters was called by Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Two NEC members who are close to Ramaphosa expressed concern that the president may opt to resign — a replay of what happened in June when the scandal over the game-farm theft first erupted and he took advice on whether or not he should quit.
Ibom MRO to Bring in Forex to Nigeria
Akwa Ibom State to open a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport
The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has announced that the state is close to opening a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport and that this will generate foreign exchange for Nigeria.
This comes on the heels of praise from his Edo State counterpart, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, who attended the Tuesday reception in Uyo for two additional A320-200 Airbus aircraft that the state’s Ibom Air fleet had leased from a European company.
Speaking at the event, the governor of Akwa Ibom said that while there were already efforts underway to persuade the government to lease the MRO, the MRO is an investment because it was built with naira, despite its current depreciation, and will therefore generate income.
The Akwa Ibom governor said “Our terminal building is world-class in Africa, our MRO is world-class. If you find one today in the entire Gulf of Guinea, tell me I’ll disassemble this one and build another.
“Look at our MRO; what you see here can accommodate two 747 aircraft as well as eight CRJ aircraft, which we are flying for servicing at the same time.”
“This is the only MRO in this part of the world today, and these facilities are not built with local currency, but we are building this MRO with naira that has no value.”
“I invest in areas where we can see a return on our money. Right now without blinking an eye, I can make over $ 30 million with this MRO if we decide to sell but we are not selling, we will make a foreign exchange from this investment.
“Airbus is on us to come and lease our MRO for all their regional flights, but we are not selling.
“We are going to open up this place ( MRO facility) from January next year for commercial activities and we are going to earn in dollars.”
He thanked Ibom Air’s Board of Directors, Management, and Staff for making him proud, emphasising that “they have done very well.”
Gov. Obaseki, who spoke at the event, stated that Akwa Ibom has become the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and make significant strides in the aviation sector.
Obaseki described Akwa Ibom as the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and expand the aviation sector. “Ibom Air is always completely booked.” Let me thank you on behalf of Nigerians,’’ Obaseki said.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Ibom Airlines., Mr Mfon Udom announced plans to begin regional flights in 2023.
Udom said the new addition to the fleet of Ibom Air would expand its carrying capacity and boost employment opportunities in the state by 40 per cent.
“With this new capacity coming on board, we are delighted to inform our passengers that we have increased our offerings, providing more frequencies for their convenience.
“The Uyo-Lagos and Uyo-Abuja routes now have three frequencies each every weekday, while our Lagos-Abuja passengers will have seven frequencies to choose from both ways, every weekday,’’ he said.
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