EFCC seizes assets of NAMA top officials

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EFCC seizes assets of NAMA top officials

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EFCC seizes assets of NAMA top officials

By Ofonime Essien

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun the seizure of assets of some top officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), some of who are still being questioned over N5 billion alleged sleaze.

This is coming after New Telegraph exclusively reported the freezing of the accounts of the NAMA managers, penultimate week, after huge sums of money and assets worth billions of naira were allegedly traced to them. Some of the assets seized are petrol stations, and other investments in Lagos. Three petrol stations belonging to one of the NAMA officials were seized on Friday in Lagos with the inscription “Under Investigation by EFCC”. A source said the EFCC has concluded plans to arraign the officials this week.

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They are being held over allegations of financial impropriety. The NAMA officials, which are still in EFCC custody, are to be arraigned in Lagos to answer charges that border on graft. Meanwhile, while the duo of Acting General Manager (Electromagnetic Services), Atiku Abubakar, and Project Manager, Felicia Agubata were released last week with a condition that they report to the EFCC every week, NAMA’s Managing Director, Ibrahim Abdulsalam; Director of Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Clara Aliche; Acting General Manager (Procurement), Muyiwa Adegorite, General Manager (Finance), Segun Nurudeen Agbolade; General Manager (ICT), Akinribido Bolaniran are still being held by the agency.

The arrests of top NAMA chiefs, penultimate week, had sent shock waves down the spines of top officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).

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FAAN is the cash cow of the aviation industry. These arrests were made to explain how Abdulsalam and his predecessor both singlehandedly signed off payments of over N3 billion on ‘questionable contracts’ between 2013 and 2015. Documents obtained showed that the bulk of these payments were for clearing of containers and Customs duties, which amounted to N2,101,689, 304.14 within the period under review.

Most of these clearing/ Customs duties payment were said to be non-transparent, as the agency had never really undertaken any “major importation that warrants payments in tens of millions of naira at different times as claimed by the management.”

The trail of approvals and payments, according to sources, revealed a lack of due process and transparency in approving the sums involved, which, in most cases, were said to be above the approval limits of the Managing Director of NAMA and should have either been referred to the board or the Minister of Aviation.

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An example was a request for payment by Delosa Limited of N39,650,000 for ‘cost of customs clearing and haulage’ of 10×40 FT ZIMU 1169653, ZIMU 4029722, ZCSU 2985348 and GSLU 2025405, TRLU 9623242. Others are CLHU 9634293, FSCU 2596026, TGHU 4687174, ZCSU 2596026, and EMCU 5201729 STC Wire Managers Scale Electronics addressed to the MD in a letter dated October 16, 2014.

Of the total amount in the letter, N25,941,750 was submitted as payment for duty, while the balance of N13,708,250 was for agency fee. Of the N3,147,866,524.14 paid out by the different chief executives of the agency, the sum of N748,139,386 was expended as ‘expenses made through special officers as mandated to the banks’ while another N298,037,834 was spent on ‘overseas travels’ through a travel agency owned by the wife of one of the arrested officials.

Source: New Telegraph


About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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