N924.98m Fraud: ICPC Arrests Four Suspects

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has taken into custody four suspects in the alleged Federal Ministry of Environment fraud involving the unauthorised transfer of N924.98million from the Ministry’s account with the First City Monument Bank(FCMB) to the accounts of some organisations in four banks.

The suspects include one of the key suspects, Mr Adeolu Adeyanju, Chief Executive Officer of Detwinx Global Services Ltd, whose company allegedly received the sum of N465,193,460.05 in its account with Zenith Bank which he withdrew on the same day the money was transfered from FCMB.

The three other suspects are Usman Omoh Sani who is the brother to a key suspect named Murphy Sani who is at large; Raphael Orim, Managing Director of De-Ormat Furniture and Abubakar Mamman Mutari of Afazuwa Ventures (Bureau De Change).

While Adeolu Adeyanju, who had fled to a neighbouring country when the fraud was uncovered, was arrested by ICPC after a manhunt, the other three suspects were arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commisssion (EFCC) and handed over to the ICPC due to an existing collaboration between the two agencies.

The case was reported to ICPC by the Ministry of Environment via a letter dated 1st December, 2014, following which the Commission commenced investigation by immediately freezing the affected bank accounts and inviting, arresting and interrogating several staff of the banks and officials of the ministry. A similar report had also been made by FCMB to the EFCC which later transferred the case file to the ICPC.

Details released by the ICPC showed how the money was allegedly distributed to the organisations through the four banks namely: Access Bank: De- Ormart Furniture Company Ltd- N143,562,532.50; First Bank: Felitex Global Enterprises Ltd-N39,051,359.00 and Afazuwa Ventures-N43,182,404.00; Zenith Bank: Detwinx Global Services Ltd -N468,794,613.79 and Alozen Pharmacy Nig. Ltd-N1397,899,494.00; and UBA: Federal Board of Inland Revenue-N92,499,553.60

The ICPC has so far blocked the sum of N459,789,456.76 in most of the banks they were transfered to. This includes the sum of N92,490,553.60 transfered to UBA purportedly as tax remittance in an account designated as Federal Board of Inland Revenue Account and which has been returned to FCMB as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) denied operating such an account in UBA.

The sum of N358,695,789.50 has been mopped up and transferred to the ICPC’s Recovery Account to prevent any further diversions while investigation is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the ICPC has declared Mr Murphy Sani (alias Murphy Ozi Opene) wanted and has requested anyone with useful information to contact the nearest ICPC, EFCC office or Police station. He works or worked at Mike-Davies Integrated Services Ltd. He attended University of Jos, Nigeria and was last reported to be living in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

The spokesman for the ICPC , Mr Folu Olamiti disclosed that the commission was aware of moves being made by certain persons to frustrate the investigation into the case and issuing threats to suspects, witnesses as well as officers handling the case.

He warned that such people risk the wrath of the commission adding that those whose hands are clean had no cause to be apprehensive.

Mr Olamiti also said that ICPC had issued directives to the Ministries, Departments and agencies (MDAs) to remind them of the need to monitor and change or upgrade where necessary, the institutional processes that will block future occurrences of unauthorized financial transactions.