Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal offence undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, to acquire illicit benefit or abuse power for one’s private gain. This should probably be told to Mr Femi Fani-Kayode who has joined the bandwagon of political pilfers who do not break a sweat in diverting public funds for personal aggrandizements.
Information available to SecretReporters reveals that Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, popularly known as ‘FFK’ having been equipped with the pros and cons of public funds diversion while he served under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, allegedly diverted a jaw-dropping N4,600,000,000 (Four Billion Six Hundred Million Naira) from the coffers of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) into his private pocket while he was Minister of Aviation under the former President Goodluck Jonathan led administration.
Sources revealed that in 2015, FFK who was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2016, in a bid to sway anti-corruption agencies into believing that the N4.6billion was meant for contracts or its similitude, hatched a plan to move the huge sum out of the Ministry’s coffer in trenches.
This was allegedly activated on January 12, 2015, by an order from the minister to signatories to the Ministry’s account, Darbisu, and Benjamin, both former staff of the Ministry, but employees of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for a whopping N400,000,000 (Four Hundred Million Naira) to be transferred into Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited account in a make-believe approach of paying for services rendered to the Ministry or an ongoing contract.
A source who is a prosecutor with the EFCC, Shehu Shuaibu, stated that “On January 12, 2015, the sum of N400 million was fraudulently transferred from an impress account of Ministry of External Affairs, Research Capital with the CBN to the account of the company”.
Satisfied with the success of the first stunt, it was gathered that on January 16, 2015, FFK again allegedly ordered the transfer of another N800,000,000 (Eight Hundred Million Naira) out of the Ministry’s treasury to the same company’s account which after series of investigations was found to be linked to a former Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Esther Nenadi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf; with Yusuf and some members of his family found to be the directors in the company.
“On January 16, 2015, again, the sum of N800 million was fraudulently transferred to the same account and those who were giving the instructions to CBN are A. Dardisu and Benjamin D. Kiksenenso, both of them are signatories to the Ministry’s account. Documents released to EFCC by Zenith Bank include; statements of account from 2014 till 2015, instruments of operating the company’s account and account opening package. Findings from the investigation linked the former minister, Usman, and Yusuf to the account, while Yusuf and some members of his family were found to be the directors in the company” Shehu Shuaibu said.
Findings also revealed that Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited which was the beneficiary of the political heist was neither a contractor of the Ministry, a service provider nor handles any project for the Ministry. However, it was alleged that Fani-Kayode diverted the funds to fund the 2015 political campaign of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.
“…we discovered that the company which is the beneficiary of the funds was neither a contractor, service provider nor previously/presently handles any project for the ministry. Our investigation also revealed that the fund was moved to the company’s account to fund ex-President Jonathan’s political campaign in 2015”, squealed our source
The purported action of Mr Femi Fani-Kayode is contrary to sections 15 (2) (a) & (6) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.