The Cross River State government under Prof. Ben Ayade has come under scrutiny for a sustained looting of the state treasury running into well over 100bn www.tracknews.ng reveal.
Using three private companies, close family members and allies, documents exclusively sited by our investigative team reveal series of questionable withdrawals, transfers of huge funds under different guises and pretexts.
For instance, Leophina Works Limited, Hally Brown International Limited were between 2015 to date used as operational arms with Gov. Ayade directly administering the Access and Unity Bank accounts tied to Leophina Works Limited.
According to the document, the State Government concealed the Account Number through which Leophina Works Limited acted as a disbursement officer, laundering millions for the Ayade’s administration.
An ‘In-and-out’ transactions in Zenith Bank Account 1012499828 in the name of Leophina Works Limited totalling about N400m was recorded in two transactions between 16th January 2018 and 22nd February 2018.
In another questionionable transaction, Leophina Works Limited received two transfers of N50 Million each, totaling N100 Million on 03/05/2019 as TRUSTFUND PENSIONS.
Another company owned by the governor, Hally Brown International Limited is mainly into Bottled Water Manufacturing but serves as a conduit for receiving statutory funds from government as well as transacting businesses for Governor Ayade.
Shockingly, On 09-Apr-2015, Governor Benedict Ayade was a beneficiary of N10 Million drawn with a Counter Cheque from Hally Brown Int’l Ltd account 1012242749 in Zenith Bank.
Hally Brown International Ltd Account 2 No. 707004424 in Access and Leophina Works Limited, will move between them, N200 Million transferred in 2016 on a concealed exact date, while a similar transaction of N120 Million was done through same account with the exact date concealed in 2016.
In the grand theft of the common patrimony of Cross River State under the Ben Ayade-led administration, individual names, persons and families seem to have been directly involved in the disbursement of the State Funds as though they were MDAs.
In fact, some of the names and transactions present themselves as mere fronts for money laundering, the document revealed.
Names such as Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, Henry Gershom B., Chioma & Gershom O. Bassey, Bassey Gershom Otu Henry, Mr. & Mrs. Gershom Henshaw are among notables that have been recurrent decimals in questionable transactions.
For example, the document revealed that on 18 June, 2015, Henry Gershom B., through account No. 00016454833 in Access Bank, received N200 Million, and on 19 June, 2015 transferred N160 Million to CACHEZ TURNKEY from the same account.
On 06/08/2019, the same account received the sum of N250 Million which was serially disbursed to other Accounts in the Access Bank.
Shocking yet, is the issuance of 37 different cheques to Eyo Eyo Ita, in 2018, through Account No. 1014841335 in Zenith Bank.
The icing on the cake being that eight (8) different cheques of N10 Million each issued to the same person in one day (2/26/18) .
Another level of fraud and corruption of the Ayade government involves transactions using state accounts for movement of funds under non-existent bank accounts.
Evidence show that Cross River State has multiple loan Account with First Bank even as the account numbers do not appear to be available in Nigeria’s banking system.
The evidence also show that transactions in the said loan accounts between March 2, 2015 to 28 March 2015, are not only questionable but suspected to be for money laundering Activities.
Among the most shocking transactions recorded are 520m and 280m were each transferred 11times on 30/11/2018.
Days before, 23/11/2018, a whopping N2.700bn, N2.250bn , N2,229,989,739.27 were each transferred 11 times bringing the grand theft total of N24,529,887,131.9
In most cases, dates of fraudulent transactions through the state government are deleted or concealed so as not to reveal some major disbursements from the state’s accounts.
For example, the document revealed a credit entry of N70 Million which was made into CRSG CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNT NO. 2030459287 on an undisclosed date. The same account showed a purported reversal entry of N70 Million still on an undisclosed date. By so doing, N70 Million has been taken out of the State’s Account but concealed.
Another of this kind of fraud and diversion is a debit to CRSG RECURRENT EXP. (FAAC) ACCOUNT NO. 2017445579 on the 7/28/2017 of N814,337,618.70 but concealed.
The same happened for the payment/Debit on 8/2/2017 in CRSG VAT Account No. 2017445586 suspected to be N805,864,963.44 but diverted.
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