Thursday, 16 June 2016

EFCC cross-examine ex-Customs CG, Dikko, over alleged N40bn fraud

N40bn fraud

It was gathered that The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday quizzed a former Comptroller- General (CG) of Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, over alleged diversion of N40 billion.

This was as EFCC operatives also interrogated a former Acting Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. James Ngilari, as well as a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Alhaji Hassan Adamu.

A highly placed source at the EFCC, who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph yesterday, said the ex-Customs CG, who arrived the commission’s headquarters about 10a.m. yesterday, was still being grilled as at last night. It was not clear if Dikko was granted administrative bail last night.

It was gathered that the N40 billion was allegedly diverted from the proceeds of the seven per cent cost of collection, as well as one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme of the Service. New Telegraph further learnt that Dikko would answer questions on the source of money he used to acquire his Jabi, Abuja mansion, which is said to be estimated at N2 billion. It will be recalled that operatives of the anti-graft agency had, on January 8, raided the Abuja home of Dikko, in search of suspicious items.

The dependable source said: “A former Comptroller- General of the Nigeria Customs service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”

He added that the former Customs boss was “being quizzed over two key allegations bordering on criminal conspiracy, diversion of public funds, theft, abuse of office and living above legitimate means.

“Inde is being grilled over the source of the funds with which he acquired the palatial mansion valued at over N2 billion and located at 1, Audu Ogbe Street, Jabi Abuja. “There is also a further allegation that he diverted over N40 billion from Customs coffers.

The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the seven per cent cost of collection and one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme,” the source.

Meanwhile, both Ngilari and Adamu were interrogated over N450 million campaign funds that were said to have been sent to Adamawa State, as part of the N23 billion allegedly meant to facilitate victory for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), during the 2015 presidential election. A highly placed source who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph yesterday, said the duo’s interrogation took place at the Gombe zonal office of the anti-graft agency.

“The EFCC quizzed Ambassador Hassan Adamu, Wakilin Adamawa at its zonal office in Gombe on the role he played in the collection and distribution of N450 million campaign funds for the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan,” the source said. The source said Adamu, who arrived the zonal office about 9:30a.m., was allowed to go after interrogation, while Ngilari may likely spend the night at the commission, as a detention order had already been signed to that effect.

Adamu was abroad when he was named as cosignatory to the campaign funds sent to the state. According to the source, “He (allegedly) admitted his involvement at that level, but that the money was taken to the government house in a bullion van.

“The former Ambassador added that the Chief of Staff to the Acting Governor, Mr. James Ngilari, Alhaji Hamman and the accountant to the government house, Mrs. Aisha Waziri, counted the money and confirmed the figure. The duo became custodians of the fund based on the directive of their boss, the governor.”

The source further stated that “Adamu said he left at that point and did not know how the money was shared, neither did he personally benefit from it.”