The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested two bankers with Fidelity Bank who allegedly aided the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to launder stolen funds.
Danjuma Zubairu, Group Head of Private Banking, and Abubakar Gwambe, an account head, were arrested on Thursday following fresh evidence that they are managing proxy accounts for Mr. Maina, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Mr. Maina is currently on the run after the EFCC filed charges against him for stealing billions of naira through a phony biometric exercise alongside Steve Oronsaye, the former Head of Service of the Federation.
A Senate joint committee on public service and establishment had, in 2013, indicted Mr. Maina of fraud after he was brought in to reform the pension administration. On Friday, the EFCC said they had traced N2.8 billion to numerous bank accounts used by Mr. Maina.
”The accounts which have over time witnessed massive inflow of slush funds include two corporate and three individual accounts,” the anti graft commission said.
“The first individual account opened in the name of Abdullahi Faizer, had a turnover of N1.5billion while the other operated in the name of Nafisatu Aliyu recorded a turnover of over N100,000.
“The corporate accounts of Cluster Logistics had a turnover of N500million and $400,000 USD. Drew Investment and Construction and Kongolo Dynamics Cleaning Limited recorded turnovers of N54million and N509million respectively.”
All the five accounts, according to the EFCC, had different opening packages.
“Four of the accounts were allegedly opened by one Khalid Aliyu, a relation of Maina, who was an employee of the bank. The said Khalil is currently at large,” said the Commission.
“But investigation established that Abdulrasheed Maina is the one operating the accounts.”
Competent sources in the anti-graft agency disclosed that the nexus between Mr. Maina and the accounts was established through a detailed analysis of telephone text messages and email communications between Mr. Maina and the bank officials. The bulk of the monies, it was gathered, had been moved through some Bureau de Change operators who convert them into dollar and transfer to Mr. Maina, who is believed to be hiding in the United Arab Emirates.
The EFCC has been on the trail of Mr. Maina for years. Before the agency filed charges against him in absentia, it arrested Ann Igwe, who served as Mr. Maina’s secretary during his reign as the chairman of the controversial PRTT.
Ms. Igwe was arrested in July this year by the Commission and she had provided “useful information,” a source close to the agency said. It was gathered that Ms. Igwe allegedly confessed on how the biometric contract allegedly awarded to streamline pension administration under Mr. Maina actually became a conduit for stealing pension fund.
Story sourced from Premium Times.