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ON THE TRAIL OF EFCC’S RECOVERED LOOT

 

A lot of questions have been asked by Nigerians in the past in respect of recovered loot by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Documents obtained by Newsroom Nigeria from the Commission shed some lights on some of the recovered loot.

 

  1. TAFA BALOGUN FORFEITED ASSETS

A total of 15 Spring Bank accounts were forfeited by Mr. Tafa Balogun. Of this number, four (4) accounts had NIL (zero) balance. The total balance in the remaining 11 accounts as of January 2005 was N1, 226,518,163.09. In addition to this, seven (7) treasury bills/commercial papers in the same bank had a total balance of N1, 017, 178, 719.42. The two added together came up to N2, 243,696,882.51. With the addition of the accrued interest of N14, 403,634.36, the figure came to N2, 258,100,516.87.
This sum was what was paid to the Commission by Spring Bank and eventually remitted to the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, as against the N3, 037,255,521.60 claimed by the petitioner. It is pertinent to note that, of the four (4) accounts with Nil balance, account no. 01C11201191, erroneously appeared on the court order as a Dollar account. It was a Naira account with no balance. Similarly, on the court order, there was a duplication of the Treasury Bills account of Yeboa Investment Limited (Nos. 01X0520147400 and 01X520147500)

These accounts which are Bankers Acceptance ought not to have been captured as current accounts. Both accounts were erroneously listed as having a balance of N254, 279,679.86.
The Commission wrote two letters to the Minister of Finance dated 22nd July 2009 and 29th November 2010, respectively, wherein it noted that funds remitted were part proceeds of Tafa Balogun recoveries. Mr. Uboh’s confirmation, that in March 2013, the Commission disclosed that it was in custody of some balance, shows that there was no secrecy about the balance. However, it is necessary to state that as at March 2011, there were legal issues on some of the properties recovered from Tafa Balogun.

Other claimants emerged, with claims to the properties. The cases include the property at Plot 2220 Suez Crescent, Zone 4, Abuja, which the Commission eventually won in 2013, while the other involved a property at Plot 1488, Fugar Street, Asokoro which case the Commission lost in 2014. Apart from the Fugar Street Asokoro property that is now a subject of appeal by the EFCC; three (3) other properties forfeited by Tafa Balogun are yet to be disposed of. One of the properties is located at Plot 110, Tunis Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja. Meanwhile, the total sum of N46,358,393.15 generated from the management of the property by Diya Fatimilehin & Co since 2009 was remitted to the Commission at various times. The remitted sum is in the Commission’s recovery account.
The remaining two properties which appeared on the forfeiture order as Plot 75, Asokoro and Plot 2262B Maitama A6 District, Abuja, are also subject of legal disputes.

The court in various rulings ordered some funds to be placed in interest yielding accounts.  Rather than warehousing forfeited funds in current accounts for a long period, the Commission lodged such funds, including those of Tafa Balogun, in interest yielding accounts. The interest element is always in line with CBN Cash Reserve Ratio and not fixed. Not a single kobo is taken out by the Commission under this initiative.
It is interesting to note that under this initiative, as at March 2015, the sum of N696, 590,765.36 was generated as interest on recovered funds with Access Bank Plc. Another sum of N522,807,543.83 presently stands as interest generated from recovered funds with Ecobank Plc, while the subsidy recoveries with Enterprise Bank Plc has yielded the sum of N736,609,666.62. All these monies are intact and are held on behalf of the Federal Government until all encumbrances to their release are cleared.
For purposes of transparency and accountability, the Commission sought and obtained approval to operate a dedicated interest income account vide a letter from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation Ref. No AGF/TRY/RB/441/VOL.I/128 dated 3rd December, 2012.
The facts of the balance of Tafa Balogun’s recovered assets are not hidden, neither are issues of the interest which accrued thereof.

  1. DSP ALAMIEYESEIEGHA FORFEITED ASSETS

DSP Alamieyeseigha was convicted in July, 2007. The process of the disposal of his forfeited asset also commenced same year following his conviction as it could not have been possible to dispose his assets in 2006 before conviction in July 2007 (as alleged by George Uboh)! The first part of the money realized from the disposal was remitted to the Commission’s account by Real Estate Derivatives Limited on 24th July, 2008 while the last payment from the sale of his assets in Nigeria was received in March, 2009. On 9th July, 2009, the total sum of N3, 128,230,294.83 realized from the assets was remitted to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State.

A summary of the assets recovered from DSP Alamieyeseigha are as follows:

  1. Sale of 5 real estate N1, 982,915,352.22
    ii. Recovery from Bond Bank N1, 000,000,000.00
    iii. Legacy Bond Bank recoveries N105, 314, 942.61
    iv. Proceeds from Chelsea mgt. N40, 000,000.00
    v. Proceeds from rent collection N60, 000,000.00
    vi. Pesal Nig. Ltd bank account N97, 708, 387.64

Other recoveries are:

vii.  USA Treasury cheques $215,000.00
viii. Chelsea Hotel Management $226,000.00
ix. Chelsea Hotel Management €7,000.00
x. Chelsea Hotel Management £2,000.00
xi. Two properties were returned directly to Bayelsa State i.e. Chelsea Hotel and No.2  Marscibit
Street, Ishaku Rabiu Estate, Wuse II Abuja.

Apart from the proceeds from rent collection and Pesal Nigeria Limited bank account, all other monies listed above have been remitted by the Commission to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State.

The balance of  N157,708,387.64,  with the Commission comprise of the sum of  N97,708.387.64 forfeited by Pesal Nig Ltd, which was remitted to the Commission by Diamond bank on 12th June, 2015, and the sum of N60m discovered through routine account reconciliation in 2014. This balance will be remitted at the end of the ongoing audit of the Commission’s exhibits and recoveries by a reputable international audit firm. Regarding the offshore assets of DSP Alamieyeseigha, the repatriation of the forfeited foreign assets was handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, not EFCC.

S/N/ ORGANIZATION/ INVESTIGATED AMOUNT IN PETITION/ CONFIRMED PAYMENT/ YEAR OF INVESTIGATION/ PAYMENT PLATFORM/ PAYMENT BANK

  1. Maikano 16,389,319.3716, 389,319.37, 2010, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    2. Daewoo Nig. Ltd. N208, 038,277.00, 2010, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    3. WAPCO N311, 112,363.67, 2010, Ikeja, ITO Transfer
    4. Protea Hotel Apo Apartments N10, 487,000.00, 2010, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    5. Zakheim Construction Company Ltd N401,140,187.78 , 2010, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    6. ITCC Technical Limited, Kaduna N47,795,632.91, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    7. Grand Ibro Hotel, Abuja N14,765,064.02 , 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    8. Elizade Nigeria Ltd, Lagos N555,241,009.00, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    9. Efab Properties, Abuja N19, 321,540.50, N24,551,570.88, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    10. Coscharis Motors Ltd N130, 000,000.00, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    11. Le Meridien Hotel, PortHarcout N10, 124,387.70, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    12. Reiz Continental Hotel N32, 570,800.00, N44, 786,228.47, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank.
    13. Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc N2, 778,500.00, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    14. Ni’ima Guest Palace N2, 830,760.70, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    15. Okumu Oil Palm Plc N5, 000,000.00, 2011, FIRS Pay Direct Fidelity Bank
    TOTAL: N1, 767,594,842.651,785,040,302

 

BELOW IS A SUMMARY OF THE VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS/CASH RECOVERED THROUGH THE NDLEA:

S/N/ DESCRIPTION/ NAIRA/ DOLLAR/ EURO/ POUND/ CFA

  1. Total released 15,683,230774,75010,00023,00076,665,000
    2. Tendered in court 1,887,700434,320267,0003,000
    3. Value of fake currency 116,8605,507,9794001,243,64550,000
    4. Total in EFCC Custody 15,620328,11710,000
    5. Funds Retained By Liberian Authorities 508,200
    6. Grand Total 17,753,4107,553,366287400.001,269,64576,715,000.00

Meanwhile, most of the cases charged to court for non-declaration under the Money Laundering Act 2004 and 2006 were dismissed and the assets recovered returned to the accused persons.