Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has made a shocking revelation of how a whopping N4.6 billion fund from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, was shared among some Northern politicians under the guise of organising prayers against insecurity.
EFCC official, Kazeem Yusuf, made the revelation Tuesday while testifying before a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court.
He told the court that the fund was diverted to organise prayer for Nigeria.
The EFCC official spoke as the second prosecution witness (PW2) in the trial of a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
Recall that Yuguda is standing trial alongside former National Security Adviser, NSA; Col Sambo Dasuki (retd); former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir; and Dalhatu Investment Limited, a company owned by Bafarawa.
Col. Dasuki served as NSA during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The defendants are facing 25 counts of misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and receiving stolen property.
Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, the witness said an investigation was carried out after the commission received a petition from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
According to EFCC, the investigation revealed that “Dalhatu Investment Limited was one of the 78 companies alleged to have received money from ONSA without any documents to show that they bid for contracts.”
The anti-graft agency said an analysis of the statement of account of Dalhatu Investment Limited by EFCC from UBA revealed that the company got N4.6 billion from ONSA.
Speaking further, the EFCC official that the amount was paid in installments between 2014 and 2015, noting that N783 million, being part of the money, came from the SAS account.
“Sagir, who represented the company, told the EFCC that the money was meant for prayers for the country because of the insecurity prevalent at that time,” EFCC added.
According to EFCC, Sagir later gave a breakdown of how the N4.6 billion was spent, including a list of beneficiaries.
The EFCC witness said Senator Abdallah Wali, who received N580 million from the company, told EFCC that the money was meant for his governorship election campaign in Sokoto in 2015.
“He also told the EFCC team that former Secretary of the Pilgrims and Welfare Agency, PWA, in Sokoto State, Muazu Madawaki, received N322 million, which he claimed was for payment of hajj seats for some Sokoto indigenes.”
The witness said other beneficiaries listed include former Sokoto chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ibrahim Maigoma, who received N111 million; Yahaya Dada (N327,549,000); Sani Kabir (N159 million); INEC (N293,500,000), among others.
The witness added that the money received by Wali was sent through a company, Development Strategies International Limited, owned by Islam Wali and Mohammed Wali, who are cousins to the former senator.
The witness told the court that parts of the money meant for supplies of security equipment, including hand-held devices, were used to procure a Lexus car, a Hilux van and 16 Peugeot 206 cars which were distributed to PDP local government chairmen in Sokoto.
However, he stated that 14 of the Peugeot 206 vehicles were recovered in the course of the investigation.
The witness said one Amanze Obi received N15.3 million for political publicity for Bafawara’s 2015 presidential campaign.