Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nigeria: EFCC Arrests NBC Director General
By Zakariyya Adaramola & Ronald Mutum
Nigeria Daily Trust
Jan 12 2016 12:16AM

Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Emeka Mba

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Emeka Mba for allegedly operating a secret account into which about N17 billion funds belonging to the commission were lodged.

EFCC operatives had been on the trail of Mr. Mba and some of his directors since last week until yesterday when they were able to get him.

Daily Trust gathered that Mba who was arrested in Abuja is being interrogated at the Wuse II head office of the EFCC.

Sources said EFCC agents traced the money to a secret account in an unnamed bank after weeks of investigation.

A source said the commission, under Mr. Mba operated the account in spite of a directive by the presidency to collapse all government accounts into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the Central Bank.

It was learnt that the EFCC found out that NBC concealed the account from the TSA policy introduced to block leakages of funds in federal government ministries, departments and agencies.

One of our sources said: “The recent discovery of an undeclared NBC account in one of the leading commercial banks from which the NBC had been paying for some ‘special projects’ long after other MDAs had stopped making such payments in compliance with the TSA policy triggered the EFCC swoop.

“Cases of award of contracts without due process and back-dating of award documents are also being probed.

“The exclusive access to millions of naira set aside by the NBC management to pre-empt the looming financial squeeze of the TSA policy and the barely concealed liquidity of several companies being patronized by the NBC raised eyebrows among other contractors whose payments were stalled by TSA implementation and they complained aloud.”

The EFCC is also investigating petitions against the management of the NBC over alleged shady award of contracts, sources said.

A source in the broadcast industry told Daily Trust that the anti-corruption agency had been watching Mba since last year.

There was a previous investigation against Mba, based on a petition against him by some contractors and broadcast license losers who alleged that the process of awarding contracts and issuance of licenses were not transparent and also breached due process.

The source said EFCC beamed its searchlight on Mba when many aggrieved license seekers and contractors who were edged out “unfairly” wrote to the commission to complain about underhand dealings in award of licenses and contracts.

 “They said the broadcast regulatory body was favouring some organisations over others in the award of contracts for the production of set-up boxes for digital broadcasting in Nigeria.

 “NBC even went out of its way to stand as a guarantor in a bank loan to one of the contractors in the production of set-up boxes scheme.

“It was the discovery of this in the account of the contractor that led the EFCC to probe the NBC”, the source, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Trust yesterday.

The NBC is also mired in N34 billion MTN spectrum sales deals said to have been sealed without compliance with procurement rules and due process by stakeholders in the forthcoming digital switch over project.

NBC’s Public Affairs Director Malam Awwalu Saalihu declined to comment on the arrest.
Similarly, attempts to reach the spokesman of the EFCC Wilson Uwujaren to speak more on the arrest were unsuccessful

Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/efcc-arrests-nbc-dg/128480.html#hjHVoK2a1lJtyYBY.99

EFCC: We’re not victimising opposition

By Nurudeen Oyewole, Lagos
Jan 12 2016 12:16AM

The acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has denied claims that the investigations of those who shared in the $2.1 billion arms procurement fund, is targeted at chieftains of opposition parties.

Magu made the clarification while addressing publishers of online media in Lagos.

According to the EFCC boss, while chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Jafaru Isa who was formerly at the agency’s custody had returned the sum of N100 million from N170 million allegedly collected from former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, the National Publicity Secretary of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has neither said anything nor agreed to return the N400 million he was alleged to have collected  from the former NSA.

“From the records, Metuh got over N400 million, he has not said anything because we need the public money to be returned so that it’s going to be used for public good.

“Also, Jafaru Isa, what Dasuki gave him was N170 million. He also agreed…of course he has collected that money, he was with us for 4-5 days and then he made a deposit of N100 million and entered an undertaking to bring the rest. That does not mean we will not prosecute him. But this other Metuh, instead of going for a refund, he has admitted he collected money... Instead of returning the money, he preferred to go on strike,” Magu said.

On the allegation of being partial, Magu said nobody who is not corrupt or who is not involved in the scandal, is being questioned.

“In all the cases, we conduct preliminary investigation. We work hard,” he said.

Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/efcc-we-re-not-victimising-opposition/128479.html#zQYA2FvX0QS6DotU.99

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