Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
By Dirisu Yakubu
Foremost anti-graft agency, the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission, EFCC, has ordered erstwhile national commissioners of the National Assembly Service Commission, NASC, to return all official vehicles still in their possession or face the wrath of the law.
This may not be unconnected with controversy over the manner presiding officers of the then federal parliament ordered the former commissioners to quit office and leave with their exotic 508 Peugeot official cars as parting gift.
Vanguard recalls that an Abuja High Court had in July this year, issued a warrant of arrest on former Clerk of National Assembly, Ataba Sani Omolori following an exparte motion by the EFCC alleging non response to their invitation and indictment in a statement by the former chairman and secretary of the National Assembly Service Commission.
Omolori, it was learnt, submitted himself before the EFCC after his retirement and made a confessional statement that led to the recall of the former NASC secretary.
Findings obtained from documents cited at the NASC secretariat, Abuja, revealed that Omolori conveyed the approval of the Presiding Officers of the then Senate and House of Representatives for the commissioners to leave with the said vehicles as requested by them.
The letter by the former Clerk of National Assembly, Sani Omolori dated July 28 2019, referenced, “NASS/ CNA/160/Vol13/582,” and titled “Re: Request For Your Clarification Of The Pool Vehicles Of The Outgoing Members Of National Assembly Service Commission to the Secretary of NASC by the Clerk of National Assembly, Sani Omolori (As he then was) read, ” I wish to convey to you the no objection of the Presiding Officers to allow the present National Assembly Service Commissioners/ Secretary go away with their last official vehicles – Peugeot 508. The Procurement Directorate is also being advised to conclude the auctioning of the Hilux to the Commissioners to enable them pay the auction price and possess the vehicles accordingly..”
Meanwhile, the EFCC in a letter signed by Ahmad Sa’ad Abubakar, Abuja zonal head for the acting executive chairman dated August 20, 2020 addressed to the acting secretary of NASC, noted: “We refer to the case of alleged conspiracy and criminal conversion of public property involving the erstwhile chairman and commissioners of your commission.
“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to inform the under listed former commissioners to return the official vehicles – 508 cars attached to them on or before September 3, 2020, and to those who have already disposed of their cars, your office should value it on its appropriate government value price for repayment to the government pending the conclusion of the investigation into the matter”, the EFCC letter ordered.
The letter listed the concerned individuals as Alhaji Adamu Fika, chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, Alhaji Abubakar Garba Rufai, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abugi, Elder Stephen Yepwi, and Mrs. Riskat Oyebimbe Alabi,
Others include Barrister Oluwafunmilola Lamuye, Hon. Godfrey Dikeocha, Hon. Abe Chukwu, Senator Dahiru Gassol, Mallam Idi Adamu Ningi and Dr. Paul Oweh.
The EFCC letter further said the request “is made pursuant to section 38 (1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and section 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.”
As at the time of filing this report, all efforts geared at getting the reaction of the NASC secretary and the concerned commissioners were unsuccessful.
However, NASC new chairman, it was gathered, has forwarded EFCC letter ordering the return of the vehicles to the erstwhile commissioners listed.