Friday, April 18, 2008

EFCC Thanks for Uncovering Turaki's N36B oil Block Fruad but Where is Iyabo Obasanjo

It is very interesting to seeing the way The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)carry out its work.

It has just given us details of how the immediate past governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Saminu Turaki, used a sum of N36 billion he allegedly stole from the state's treasury, to buy oil blocks in the country.

EFCC told a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital that Alhaji Turaki standing trial before the court on allegation of conspiracy, money laundering, theft, corrupt enrichment and looting of the treasury, “used the funds of Jigawa state to pay for oil blocks given to him by the Federal Government''.

EFCC further alleged that the former governor used his younger brother, Bashir Turaki and his companies, INC Natural Resources Ltd., Arkel Construction Nig. Ltd and Wildcat Construction Ltd., to siphon state funds while in office.

The EFCC said the accused was running the companies, using his brother and one Abdul Aziz Haliru, and had used the Jigawa government as a guarantor for the loan taken by the companies.

Turaki is also accused of making the government to give an irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to the bank in respect of the loans taken by the companies.

EFCC further alleged that the bank was deducting the said loan from the statutory allocations meant for the state, until billions of naira was deducted.

The allegations are contained in an affidavit filed before the court by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, the Commission also gave insight on how the alleged fraud by the former governor, now a Senator representing the state, was discovered.

According to the EFCC: “Sometimes in June 2006, the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) of the EFCC intercepted a suspicious transaction made by the agents of the accused.

Alhaji Turaki was arraigned in October 2007, on a 32-count charge of corruption and embezzlement of public funds, by the EFCC.

He has however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and had since been granted bail by Justice Binta-Murtala Nyako.

But my question now is, why is it so difficult to arraign Iyabo Obasanjo? Now she has gone into hidding. Well at least The Senate has asked embattled Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, daughter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to appear before it next Tuesday over the case the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has against her. I hope the EFCC will arrest her after her appearance

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