Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Switzerland scandal: How ex-AGF directed EFCC to probe alleged $20m bribery

Switzerland scandal: How ex-AGF directed EFCC to probe alleged $20m bribery

Mohammed Adoke

However, the EFCC said the affected funds might have been consultancy fees

For More:Visit Us at Uju Ayalogu's Blog

Fresh facts have emerged that a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), actually directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the alleged $20 million bribery scandal uncovered in Switzerland.

However, the EFCC said the affected funds might have been consultancy fees.

The Swiss authorities, through the Office of The Attorney-General, Department of International Affairs on May 2, 2012 had implicated some Nigerians in the $20 million scandal alongside Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Limited.

Findings however confirmed that the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan referred the allegations to the EFCC.

It also sent the outcome of the EFCC investigation to Felix Reinmann, the Swiss Federal Attorney.

A letter by Adoke revealed the steps taken by the Federal Government.

The letter said: “I refer to your letter dated 2nd May 2012, wherein you forwarded a Mutual Legal Assistance request to Nigeria on the above subject matter. The request was brought pursuant to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the International Law Principle of Reciprocity.

“The documents on further findings of the executing competent authority the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed that the money were paid as consultancy fee to the various recipients.

“The said documents are herein forwarded to you verbatim.
“Accept please, the assurances of my highest consideration and esteemed regards.”

According to Premium Times Newspaper, Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd was sentenced to a fine of one million Swiss Francs and asked to refund 36 million Swiss Francs illegal profit.

The fines were imposed after the company was indicted for allegedly making illicit payments to a former Managing Director of the NPA, Adebayo Sarumi; a former Managing Director of NPA’s Eastern Ports, Felix Ovbude; a former Executive Director of Finance at the NPA, Abba Murtala Mohammed; and Daniel Afam-Obi, a former Executive Assistant to Sullivan Akachukwu Nwankpo, who was ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Technical Matters.

Investigators believe Afam-Obi acted on behalf of Nwankpo.

While Messrs Sarumi, Ovbude and Mohammed allegedly collectively received $2.6 million in kickbacks, Afam-Obi was said to have been paid $157,000 for unknown reasons.

Another $18 million was passed to companies in which some yet unknown Nigerian officials have interests.

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