Few months after securing the conviction of a former Abia State governor for corrupt practices, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has opened an investigation into an alleged diversion of N525bn by another ex-governor of the state, Theodore Orji.
In a petition dated March 17, 2017, filed by Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group, the former governor was accused of receiving and diverting various sums of monies meant for the state’s development.
According to the petition, the monies were N383bn revenue from federal accounts, N55bn excess crude revenue, N2.3bn Sure-P, N1.8bn ecological funds, N10.5bn loan from First Bank of Nigeria through the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs, N4bn loan from Diamond Bank, N12bn Paris Club refund, N2bn agricultural loan for farmers and N55bn Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC).
The petitioners alleged that the funds were received by the Abia State government, and nothing commensurate to show for it.
Based on the petition, EFCC commenced investigations and discovered that the former governor, who was a Chief of Staff to the convicted ex-governor Orji Kalu, was the Authorising Officer drawing N500m monthly purportedly as Security Vote, which was converted.
After becoming governor in 2007, he continued to draw the N500m cash monthly from June 2007 to May 2015.
The N500m, investigation revealed, was aside security funds expended on the Nigerian Police, The Nigerian Army, DSS, Navy anti-Kidnapping Squad, anti-robbery Squad, purchase of Security equipment and vehicles for the security agencies.
Investigation was extended to his family members to ascertain the link and their culpability in the alleged fraud.
The ex-governors first son, Chinedum Orji Eyinanya, who is currently Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, is now a frequent guest at EFCC Headquarters to throw light on his involvement in the fraud. He was with operatives of the Commission last Thursday.
A check on his financial activities revealed that he had about 100 accounts in different banks, with over 80 percent of them still very active. The accounts, which were both corporate and individual, received so much deposit in cash without evidence of job or services rendered.
Fotoworld Industry Limited, with GTBank account number 2022025805 is traced to Chinedum. The company received deposit of $20, 849, 044.21 (Twenty million eight hundred and forty-nine thousand and forty-four dollars, twenty-one cent). Same company with another account number 2022025764 in First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) received a cumulative deposit of N362, 573, 056.50 (Three hundred and sixty-two thousand, five hundred and seventy-three thousand and fifty-six naira, fifty kobo).
Fotoworld has several other accounts with FBN. The accounts and deposits are 2026144229, $84, 000 cash deposit between 2014 and 2015; between 2012 and 2015. Account number 2022025764 housed N342, 573, 056.50, while account number 2022025939 between November 2012 and July 2015 received a deposit of 1, 689, 320.89 Pounds Sterling.
The GTBank account 0039060117 of the same company housed N88, 300, 000 (Eighty-eight billion, three hundred thousand Naira) between February 2009 and July 2014.
Fotoworld Industry Limited, with GTBank account number 2022025805, also traced to Chinedum,…
Other personal accounts of the Speaker are the FCMB account number 3237996011 with N384, 914, 501.50 between 2016 and 2019. Another N205, 508, 500 was into FCMB account number 3237996028 between 2016 and 2019.
Another Chinedu’s FBN account number 2024073408 also received $601, 716.62 between 2013 and 2015. His FBN account number 2014435973 also had N153, 943, 822.01 between 2009 and 2016. Another N153, 000, 000 was deposited in account number 2014435973. His Access bank account number 0023390147 had N178, 389, 547.25 between 2011 and 2019 and another $48, 000 in the same bank account number 0029937780 in 2010.
Cheetah Press Limited is another concern of the ex-governors son. The company with FBN account number 2006413367 had deposits of N1, 083, 731, 890.93 between 2007 and 2017. In Union Bank, the same company had a deposit of N430, 980, 632.18 in account number 0034400341 (This account had consistent cash lodgment to the said amount.)
Cheetah’s Standard Chartered account number 000171072 had N42, 009, 795.36 between 2011 and 2016. At GTBank, account number 0107577738 and N241, 059074. 24 were traced to Cheetah Press between 2011 and 2016, and another N966, 041, 454 between 2011 and 2016. In UBA alone, Cheetah’s account number 1015210129 had N143, 851, 800 between 2010 and 2018, while account number 1008016040 had N2, 226, 458, 581.35 between 2016 and 2020. Yet another UBA account number 1011361993 had N782, 694, 255.77 between 2007 and 2019.
Travel BETA. COM Ltd., with 3002133811 had $788, 174.22 between 2016 and 2020, while BETA.COM, yet another concern of the Orjis had $788, 174.22 between 2016 and 2020.
Analysis of several other accounts is still ongoing, as at the time of filing this report.
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