- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 08:00
- Written by Punch
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Also invited by the anti-graft agency were 10 other Nigerians, including a former Minister of Power and Steel, Mr. Ahmed Hameed, and the Special Adviser to the Niger State governor Alhaji Ahmed Datti.
To also appear before the anti-graft agency are two directors of Globacom — Mrs. Gladys Alabi and Mr. Mike Jutubo — as well as a former Legal Adviser to Mtel, Mr. Garba Jubrin.
A former Legal Adviser in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Agbamuche (surname unknown); and two former state secretaries in the Ministry of Communications, Mr. David Osakwe, and Dr. Manzo; an ex- staff of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, Mr. R. Olusanju; and one Alhaji Hassan Yar’Adua were also invited by the EFCC.
They are to appear in separate batches before the commission on Wednesday and Thursday. It was gathered that letters of invitation had been dispatched to them on Sunday.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in Abuja just as the EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, said that about $6.5bn had been recovered by the agency since its inception.
Babafemi explained that the invitation to the affected persons was “based on fresh discoveries in the ongoing investigation into the 17million Euro bribery scandal.”
Attempts by one of our correspondents to speak with Mr. Bode Opeseitan of the Corporate Affairs Department of Globacom between 9pm and 9.30pm on Monday did not yield results as his telephone remained engaged.
A text message was also sent to him at about the above stated time but there was no response as at 10pm.
EFCC operatives had in July 2006 stormed Adenuga’s home in Lagos over alleged intelligence report that some of his companies benefitted from illegal transfer of a tranche of funds from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
A Presidency source had then defended the commission’s action, saying, “The anti-graft body is just trying to find out whether Chief Adenuga‘s telecoms firm benefited from alleged abuse of PTDF through a bank.”
In August 19, 2006, Adenuga fled to Ghana.
There were also reports that the EFCC at the time had to widen its investigation into Adenuga’s other business interests.
The EFCC had last week quizzed top officials of Siemens and C.Woerman in connection with the bribery.
The Acting Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party and a former Minister of Communications, Dr. Bello Muhammed, had earlier been quizzed by the commission over the scam.
Other former ministers of Communications — Tajudeen Olarewaju and Chief Cornelius Adebayo — and ex- managing directors of NITEL and Power Holding Company of Nigeria, had also appeared before the EFCC on the issue.
One of the former ministers reportedly admitted having collected an unspecified amount from Siemens.
There was public outrage in the wake of Siemens admission of guilt in Germany and payment of fines of over $100m and government’s reluctance to bring their Nigerian collaborators to book.
Siemens only apologised to the Federal Government in 2008 and it was removed from her blacklist.
The EFCC’s inquiry into the Siemens scandal began in November 2007, when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua ordered security agencies to get to the root of the matter and prosecute those found culpable.
A German court in Munich had named some past ministers and a senator as having benefited from the slush fund.
Meanwhile, the EFCC Chairman had, at a two-day Train-the-Trainers Workshop in Minna, Niger State on Monday, said that the agency had not only recovered $6.5bn since its inception but had secured 400 convictions.
She added at the workshop for secondary school integrity club teachers in the North-Central that the commission also handled cases involving 700 persons.
“The commission is working to create a preferred environment for Nigerians, and local and foreign investors,” Waziri, who was represented at the workshop by Principal Staff Officer in the commission, Mr. Bala Sanga, said.
She pointed out that no anti-corruption agency could on its own fight corruption unless it collaborated with other security outfits locally and internationally.
Waziri said, “An effective fight against corruption requires a comprehensive people-oriented approach. By embracing the campaign against corruption, Nigerians would see the clear relationship between corruption and underdevelopment and would realize that the anti-corruption war is an integral part of a broader exercise of economic reform needed to stimulate growth and address poverty and service provision in Nigeria.
The EFCC is convinced that to win the war on corruption, there has to be shift in paradigm from the traditional law enforcement approaches to a more robust citizens’ participation strategy, which has led to the creation of the Strategy and Re-orientation Unit in the commission.”
She attributed Nigeria’s problems to the mismanagement of “our resources and recklessness on the part of our past leaders.”