Sunday, 19 June 2016

EFCC seizes N2bn mansion of ex-customs’ boss, Dikko


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized a N2bn mansion allegedly owned by a former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko.

Punch correspondent, who visited the mansion located at 1 Audu Ogbe Street, Jabi, Abuja, on Saturday observed EFCC inscriptions on the fence.

The words painted in red, boldly read, “EFCC, Keep off.”

It was learnt that Dikko, who submitted himself for questioning at the EFCC head office in Abuja, for allegedly diverting N40bn from the coffers of the NCS, had remained in custody since Thursday.

A source at the commission said, “The EFCC Act Section 71 (B) gives us the power to commence investigations into the property of any person if it appears to the EFCC that the person’s lifestyle and extent of properties are not justified by law. Section 28 says for those arrested under the Act, the commission will immediately trace and attach all the assets and seizures of such a person which had been acquired

“Section 29 permits the assets of a person arrested under Section 28 to be seized by the state. Dikko was a customs officer and served for about 30 years. He has to explain where he got the money to buy a mansion of N2bn.”

Dikko, it was learnt, had been on the radar of the EFCC for several months but his whereabouts remained unknown.

A detective at the commission, who did not want his name in print, also said, “You will recall that we have been looking for Dikko for quite some time. He turned himself in around 10am today (Thursday) and he is being quizzed over two key allegations bordering on criminal conspiracy, diversion of public funds, theft, abuse of office and living above legitimate means.

“There is also a further allegation that he diverted over N40bn from customs coffers. The funds were drawn from proceeds of the seven per cent cost of collection and one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme.”

Meanwhile, Babajide Obanikoro, a son of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has hinted that he will not honour the invitation of the EFCC.

It will be recalled that operatives of the anti-graft agency stormed Babajide’s home last week and seized the property located at 10, Mojisola Street, off Banana Island Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

In a letter addressed to Babajide and his brother, Gbolahan, the commission asked the brothers to appear before Hamza Abdulahi, an EFCC investigator, on June 22, 2016 by 10am at 30A Harper Crescent, Zone 7, Abuja.

However, Babajide, who is in the United States along with his parents, siblings and other members of his family, slammed the EFCC for the invitation.

In a Facebook post, Babajide wrote, “After they illegally searched my house, stole my car and other things, they now invite me four days later for an interview. I’m coming ooo (sic) wait.”

It will be recalled that N4.75bn was traced to a company, Sylvan McNamara Limited, in which Obanikoro’s sons have interest.

The money was allegedly paid in several tranches into the company’s account number 0026223714 with Diamond bank from the Office of the National Security Adviser account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to the EFCC, all the transfers were made between June and December 2014, a period that coincided with the preparation for and the conduct of the Ekiti State governorship election which was won by Governor Ayodele Fayose.

Both Gbolahan and Babajide, sources disclosed, as directors of the company, were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made sole signatory to the account.

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