Investigations by SecretReporters have revealed how Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari, who currently serves as Captain/Flight Operations Coordinator on 4 (Four) a year contract term with the Nigeria Customs Service, has engaged in corrupt practices, gross abuse of office and money laundering using his privately owned company.
Prior to his appointment on Grade Level 14 in a letter dated 5th August 2021 Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari had served in various capacities and retired from the Nigeria Customs Service with effect from January, 2017
Records in our possession revealed that the appointment of Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari was predicated upon the Anticipatory Approval of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning dated 31st May, 2021.
It was stated in the Anticipatory Approval that Captain Wularibeing a retired Customs Officer, was appointed as the “trained pilot” of Citation CJN Jet Model 525 – C.REG. NO.5N-DIA.
However, investigations revealed that the Commercial Pilot Licence as well as Medical Certificate issued to Captain Wulari by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) expired on 11th October 2017 and 19th June 2021, respectively.
By implication, Captain Wulari was not legally or medically qualified to take up the appointment as Captain/Flight Operations Coordinator with the Nigeria Customs Service on the aforesaid 5th August, 2021 after which he was introduced to resume duty at the Air Wing of Nigeria Customs Service vide Memorandum dated 9th August 2021 and signed by Brig. Gen. I. Buhari (PSO to the CGC).
Contrary to the procurement law, Captain Wulari owns and operates a company named Global Aircraft Solutions Limited (GASL), which he consistently did business with while serving in the Nigeria Customs Service.
GASL is a privately owned aviation company that provides aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul services to the Nigerian aviation industry.
Investigation revealed that Captain Wulari used his position as Captain/Flight Operations Coordinator to influence the award of contracts to GASL by the Nigeria Customs Service. The contracts awarded to GASL include the maintenance and overhaul of the Citation CJN Jet Model 525 – C.REG. NO.5N-DIA, which is a violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers as contained in Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Documents exclusively obtained by SecretReporters show that Global Aircraft Solutions Limited received the total sum of N591,880,000 as the cost of fueling one aircraft alone within the period under review.
On 16th May, 2012 Global Aircraft Solutions Limited was paid the sum of N239,517,600 as part payment for the purchase of Cessna Citation CJ4 Aircraft on behalf of Nigeria Customs Service. This was followed by another payment of N1,379,198,000 on 22nd November, 2012 being final payment for the same aircraft.
Copy of 2012 bank statement of Global Aircraft Solutions Limited shows the company was paid the sum of N160,774,950 by Nigeria Customs Service vide Ecobank Nigeria Plc account number 0062395897 on 17th July, 2012. Out of the said money, a total of N100,000,000 was transferred through cheques from Global Aircraft Solutions Limited to the personal account of Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari in ten tranches of N10,000,000 on 30th August, 2012 and 5th September, 2012 respectively.
In his Memo dated 18th December, 2013 seeking approval for an routine maintenance by Air Wing Engineers with the help of a hired American Expert, Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari requested for payment of N58,380,000. Eventually, the sum of N52,542,000 was approved and paid to Global Aircraft Solutions Limited on 23rd December, 2013.
In 2014, Global Aircraft Solutions Limited continued to do heavy transactions through the company Ecobank Nigeria Plc account number 3362000238. For instance, copy of bank statement indicates that on 6th January, 2014 the company paid to Dangote Cement Plc – Ibese Plant at Epa the sum of N115 Million. On the said date, the sum of N14,841,720.94 was transferred to Zakhem Construction Nig. Ltd which maintains account with Fidelity Bank Plc. This was followed by another payment of the whooping sum of N1,514,465,753.42 on 7th January, 2014 to the same Dangote Cement Plc. Meanwhile, on 18th August, 2014 a brokerage company credited the account of Global Aircraft Solutions Limited with N25,514,000.
The year 2015 witnessed a lot of suspicious transactions between Global Aircraft Solutions Limited and Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari from 7th April, 2015 to 20th April, 2015. Bank statement shows that Nigeria Customs Service on 7th April, 2015 transferred N85,050,000 described as “Journal Entry” to Global Aircraft Solutions Limited using its Ecobank Nigeria Plc account number 3362000238.
One company named Baieland Limited with RC 1016085 owned by Chineme Betral and Sam Okwulehie who are suspected to be fronting for Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari was credited the next day being 8th April, 2015 by Global Aircraft Solutions Limited with the sum of N42,500,000. On 20th April, 2015 the remaining sum was withdrawn in ten tranches of N10,000,000 to the personal account of Captain Mbaya Kuhi Wulari through cheques.
Documents revealed that Global Aircraft Solutions Limited was involved with the arrival of the Cessna Citation CJ4 Aircraft from Wichita, USA.
Part 1, Section 1 states that: “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities”.Also, Part 1, Section2 (b) of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution provides that “Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, a public officer shall not, except where he is not employed on full-time basis engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade, but nothing in this sub-paragraph shall prevent a public officer from engaging in farming”.
Further investigation revealed that Captain Wulari failed to declare his assets in line with the provisions of the law, contrary to Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Meanwhile, the Code of Conduct for Public Officers requires public officers to declare their assets before assuming office and at the end of their tenure.