The interim report of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed details of the misappropriation of about N12.7 billion in the Rural Electrification Agency (REA)

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– The report indicts the former Managing Director of REA, Salihijo Ahmad and his management team who were suspended and replaced by President Tinubu last week.
– 37 bank accounts linked to Salihijo Ahmad's BVN despite claims on his asset declaration forms with the CCB that he has only two accounts.
The BVN printout depicts irregularities as there are different dates of birth associated with the suspect.
The (37) bank accounts comprises (14) corporate accounts, (21) personal accounts, and (2) other accounts in the names of Bilkisu Salihijo.
– In June 2023, senior officials of the agency siphoned N300 million under the guise of a training programme.
Agency awarded contracts worth N300 million to two companies for same training programme.
The two companies, Cees Assist Resources Limited and Braintask Value Resources Limited, have the same owner, one Umaefulem Chibueze, who was used to siphon funds through the programme.
– A director in the agency, Alaba Netufo, was running a private business to which some contractors of the agency had on several occasions paid money.
– Gross misappropriation of N12.4 billion COVID-19 funds disbursed by the FG to the agency in two tranches of (N6.2 billion) each in 2020 and 2021 for mass rural solar power lighting.
– Agency was involved in coercing contractors executing zonal intervention and capital projects to pay 5% of the contract sum as ‘’monitoring and evaluation’’ charges, “which are usually paid in cash to senior/management staff of the agency and are, more often than not, embezzled.
– Payments totalling N728.9 million made by the agency to 15 contractors in 2023 for consultancy jobs were “channels for stealing and diversion of public funds majorly because by virtue of the job roles of certain staff of the agency being zonal coordinators, project department as well as monitoring and evaluation department, it was unnecessary, ridiculous and alarming that external consultants were still engaged to execute the same responsibilities.”
– N1.2 billion was siphoned between March and June 2023 through eight staff in the agency’s account department.
Payment of N1.2 billion bank by the Director of Finance and Accounts, Abdullahi Sambo to bank accounts of (😎 staff of the department as well as himself for project monitoring.
Upon receipt of the said funds, the Director of Finance and Accounts instructed his allies to purchase various choice properties and assets being plots of land, houses and a car in his favour.
The Director of Finance and Accounts also directed one Usman Kwakwa to convert the total sum of (N159,608,464.38) to United States Dollars; this he did using two Bureau De Change Operators namely Laba Ibrahim and Ahmed Musa.
Usman Kwakwa also transferred various sums of monies totalling (N115,749,000.00) to some senior staff and management of the agency.
The Director of Finance and Accounts benefitted over (N414,346,343.51) from the loot.
RECOVERIES BY EFCC INVESTIGATORS
– For the training programme, N30 million have been recovered while four suspects have undertaken to refund the total sum of N201 million representing their share of the looted funds.
– On the looted (N1.2) billion, Recoveries are as follows;
N246 million
A duplex building in Karsana Abuja
An uncompleted filling station along Kaduna road, Abuja
Three landed properties in Kaduna State
Three plots of land in Lafia and one plot of land in Mararaba, Nasarawa State.
A landed property worth 46 million from one of the 16 suspects.
On the the (N12.4) billion Covid-19 Funds;
EFCC established that contracts totalling N2 billion were never executed and they believe that N6 billion of the total sum could have been diverted owing to non-execution, under-execution, and poor execution of the contracts.

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