Home FEATURES KOGI EX-GOV, WADA, SERVING GOV., FORMER SKYE BANK CHAIRMAN, TUNDE AYENI AND RETIRED AVM, ATAWODI ENTANGLED IN OVER SIX BILLION NAIRA FRAUD ALLEGATIONS

KOGI EX-GOV, WADA, SERVING GOV., FORMER SKYE BANK CHAIRMAN, TUNDE AYENI AND RETIRED AVM, ATAWODI ENTANGLED IN OVER SIX BILLION NAIRA FRAUD ALLEGATIONS

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Joseph Omoniyi

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A sitting governor, a former governor, a retired Air Vice Marshal, AVM, and a former Skye Bank Chairman have all been named in a big fraud scandal to the tune of over six billion naira which they allegedly laundered over car deal and offshore accounts.

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The serving governor who is presently enjoying immunity was said to have evaded invitations from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC after he was recently declared re-elected by the Supreme Court. He had initially been cooperating with the Anti-Graft agency in the investigation of the alleged fraud.

The alleged fraud was said to have been perpetrated between 2008 and 2012, when the sitting governor was chairman of the Senate House Committee on National Security, Intelligence and Police Safety when he received the sum of one billion, four hundred and seventy-five million, one hundred and fourty-five thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine (1, 475, 145, 199) converted to dollars, from the retired Air Marshal, Salihu Atawodi. At the time all of the suspects were members of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime on Maritime Security, PICOMSS.

The governor was said to have collected the money for the purpose lobbying members of the House of Representatives to convert PICOMSS into Agency under a proposed name; Maritime Security Agency. The governor was said to have initiated the plan after he allegedly convinced Atawodi to part with the cash.

Findings revealed that the owner of Bureau De Change used by PICOMSS, Mr. Sharif Shanono has provided evidence of transactions.

The EFCC will now have to wait till 2023 when his tenure expires before they pick him up for proper investigation.

Meanwhile, the remaining seven key suspects in the scandal, Atawodi, Former Skye Bank chairman, Tunde Ayeni Kogi ex-governor, Idris Wada, some former members of the House of Representatives, Mrs Atawodi, and Atawodi’s daughter, Eleojo. All of these suspects are expected to be arraigned soon, to face trial.

Apart from the serving governor who is still hiding under the one-finger-of-immunity, the Atawodis seem to be the biggest players and beneficiaries of this fraud. A former speaker was said to have been handed a ‘ridiculous one million naira’.  The EFCC has seized about two hundred and fourty-five million naira worth of hectares of land, another two hundred million naira placed on Post No Debit, PND in First Mutual Micro-Finance Bank traced to Pepper Farms limited, uncovered six-point twelve million dollars invested in Midland Corporate Investment Limited account, one hundred and fourty-one million, six hundred and eleven thousand, seven hundred and thirty-six naira and another two hundred twenty thousand, four hundred and twenty dollars, all from the Atawodis.

From the cash, Atawodi transferred into several firms belonging to him under disguised names.

Findings revealed that on the 12th of November 2010, Atawodi made PICOMSS issue the sum of thirty-two million, three hundred and thirty-seven thousand, one hundred and sixty-three dollars to Xanos Limited with the business mogul, Tunde Ayeni, a former chairman of Skye Bank, under the contracts for Maritime Domain Monitoring System for Maritime Surveillance.

Tunde Ayeni who is still battling a separate money laundering case with the EFCC, had been accused of transferring three billion naira from the defunct Skye Bank “Suspense Account” to the First Monument Bank Plc account no. 0758662025 of Control Dredging Company Limited, the proceeds which formed part of an unlawful transaction and contrary to section 18(a) and punishable under section 15(2)(b) and (3) of the money laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).

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