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.
EFCC Finally Arrests Okorocha After Hours of Siege, Gives Reason
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has finally arrested the All Progressives Congress’ presidential candidate and former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha after laying siege on his residence for hours.
Security operatives attached to the EFCC had surrounded the residence of the former governor earlier on Tuesday and before they finally arrested him late in the evening.
Investors King can confirm that lots of gunshots and tear gas canisters were fired to disperse angry supporters of the lawmaker who tried to resist the arrest before he was finally arrested.
According to an official of the anti-graft agency, Okorocha will be taken to the headquarters of the commission where he will be until May 30 when he will be arraigned in court.
In an official statement obtained by Investors King, signed by the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, “the move to arrest Okorocha was followed by the refusal of the former governor to honour invitations after jumping the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.
“EFCC had on January 24, 2022, filed a 17-count criminal charge bordering on diversion of public funds and properties to the tune of N2.9bn against Okorocha.
“The case was assigned to Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja but attempts to arraign Senator Okorocha was twice stalled owing to the absence of the ex-governor who evaded service of processes”.
EFCC added that at the last adjourned date, March 28th 2022, Justice Ekwo, before adjourning until May 30th, 2022, had warned that it was “the last adjournment I shall grant in this matter”.
“In the circumstances, the Commission is left with no option but to effect the arrest of Senator Okorocha and bring him to trial”, the statement had read.
Russia Halts Supply of Gas to Finland, Disagrees on Payment Mode
Russia’s majority state-owned multinational energy corporation, PJSC Gazprom, on Saturday, halted gas exports to one of its neighbouring countries, Finland, in the latest escalation of an energy payments dispute with Western nations.
A statement released by Finland’s gas system operator, Gasgrid said: “Gas imports through Imatra entry point have been stopped.
“Starting from today, during the upcoming summer season, Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources through the Balticconnector pipeline”.
Investors King gathered that majority of the European supply contracts are denominated in Euros or Dollars and Moscow already cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland last month after they refused to comply with the new payment terms.
Imatra is the entry point for Russian gas into Finland and even though majority of the gas used in Finland comes from Russia, gas only accounts for about five per cent of its annual energy consumption.
Gazprom Export has requested that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in Russian currency (roubles) because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but Finland refuses to do so.
Gazprom Export, on Friday, said: “flows would be cut because Gasum had not complied with the new Russian rules requiring settlement in roubles.”
Earlier on Friday, the Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler, Gasum had said the Russian Gazprom warned that flows would be halted from 04:00 GMT on Saturday morning.
The decision is coming at a time when Finland and Sweden announced that they were going to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance, a decision inspired by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last week, the Finish Prime minister, Sanna Marin had said: “When we look at Russia, we see a very different kind of Russia today than we saw just a few months ago.
“Everything changed when Russia attacked Ukraine. And I personally think that we cannot trust anymore that there will be a peaceful future next to Russia.”
Marin noted that joining NATO is “an act of peace [so] that there will never again be war in Finland in the future”.
According to Swedish leader Andersson, “to ensure the safety of Swedish people, the best way forward is to join NATO together with Finland”.
The announcements were met with support from leaders in almost all NATO nations.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken told reporters that the United States would strongly support the NATO application by either Sweden or Finland should they choose to formally apply to the alliance.
Investors King recalls that Russia had in April, announced the suspension of gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria on the same payment disputes.
FG Resumes Conditional Cash Transfer Programme Across Six Local Govt. In Kebbi
The Federal Government has resumed the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme in Kebbi State, commencing with a payment of N9.24bn to 76,107 CCT beneficiaries.
The National Coordinator of the programme, Hajiya Halima Shehu, made the announcement during a state visit to Governor Atiku Bagudu in Birnin Kebbi.
“As at now, payment to CCT beneficiaries is ongoing in the state. A total number of 76,107 beneficiaries across six local government areas of Bagudu, Danko, Wasagu, Dandi, Jega, and Shanga, will be receiving the payment. The beneficiaries will be receiving 26 months of payment circles, starting from January to February 2020.
“The payment will be in two batches of those 60,000 beneficiaries for four payment cycles, using the virtual account. The second batch has 70,107 beneficiaries for nine payment cycles through the debit cards. The total amount for the two batches in the state, according to Shehu, was over N9.24 billion.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, in partnership with the World Bank in 2016, designed and developed a safety net programme for Nigeria under the platform of National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP).
“One of the components of NASSP is the national conditional cash transfer office responsible for implementing the household uplifting- conditional cash transfer to the poor and the vulnerable households across the country,” she said.
Shehu commended the governor for providing her an audience and the chance to update him on the commencement of payments and the state’s successful implementation of the program.
Responding, Gov. Bagudu, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Samaila Yombe-Dabai, thanked the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, headed by Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, for actualising the programme in the state.
“I assure you that the state government will do all it takes to support the success of the programme in the state.
“We are looking forward to getting more local governments to be involved in the cash transfer programme,” Bagudu said.
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