Our strory on seized assets from ex-IGP, by EFCC

Our strory on seized assets from ex-IGP, by EFCC
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chair Ibrahim Lamorde yesterday said there was no diversion of either cash or assets seized from a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun and ex- Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
The commission said Balogun forfeited N2, 258,100,516.87 in 11 accounts including accruing interest.
It also said N3, 128, 230, 294.83 realised from the assets of Alamieyeseigha was remitted to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State.
The EFCC made the clarifications last night by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren against the backdrop of allegations by a whistle-blower, George Uboh against the Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.
Uboh, had in a petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition claimed that Lamorde and EFCC could not account for over N1trillion.
But the EFCC said the cash and assets seized from the two  were intact.
The statement said: “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 11accounts 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.”
On Uboh’s allegation that the EFCC under-remitted proceeds from Tafa Balogun’s forfeitures, the EFCC said the ex-IGP’s properties were yet to be disposed of.
It added: “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
“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.
“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 EFCC defended the placement of some forfeited cash by accused or convicted persons(including Balogun’s)  in interest yielding accounts.
It said it sought and obtained approval to operate a dedicated interest income account.
 It said: “The placement of forfeited monies in interest yielding accounts is not an entirely new idea. 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 vides 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.”
On the assets seized from Alamieyeseigha, the EFCC said the proceed had been remitted to the Federal Government in favour of Bayelsa State.
It said: “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.
Summary of the assets recovered from DSP Alamieyeseigha are as follows:
  1. Sales of 5 real estate N       1,982,915,352.22
  2. Recovery from Bond Bank N 1,000,000,000.00
iii.    Legacy Bond Bank recoveries     N       105,314,942.61
  1. Proceeds from Chelsea mgt. N       40,000,000.00
  2. Proceeds from rent collection N       60,000,000.00
  3. Pesal Nig. Ltd bank account N       97,708,387.64
Other recoveries are:
vii. USA Treasury cheques $ 215,000.00
viii. Chelsea Hotel Management $ 226,000.00
  1. Chelsea Hotel Management € 7,000.00
  2. Chelsea Hotel Management £ 2,000.00
  3. 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.”
Our strory on seized assets from ex-IGP, by EFCC Our strory on seized assets from ex-IGP, by EFCC Reviewed by Ioaness vita on Thursday, October 01, 2015 Rating: 5

No comments: