…Arrests 2 bank officials
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested two top managers of a commercial bank for assisting the former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Abdulrasheed Maina, to launder stolen pension funds. Maina is on the run after the EFCC filed charges against him for stealing billions of pension funds through a phony biometric exercise alongside former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye.
Sources at the EFCC disclosed that the two bankers, Danjuma Zubairu, group head, private banking and Abubarkar Gwambe, an account officer, in the Abuja Central Business District business unit of the bank, were arrested on Thursday following fresh evidence that they are managing proxy accounts for the fugitive.
The accounts, which have over time witnessed massive inflow of slush funds include two corporate and three individual accounts. The first individual account opened in the name of Abdullahi Faizer, had a turnover of N1.5billion while the other operated in the name of Nafisatu Aliyu recorded a turnover of over N100,000.
The corporate accounts of Cluster Logistics had a turnover of N500million and $400,000 USD. Drew Investment and Construction and Kongolo Dynamics Cleaning Limited recorded turnovers of N54million and N509million respectively. All five accounts have different opening packages. Four of the accounts were allegedly opened by one Khalid Aliyu, a relation of Maina, who was an employee of the bank.
The said Khalil is currently at large. But investigation established that Abdulrasheed Maina is the one operating the accounts. Competent sources in the anti-graft agency disclosed that this nexus was established through detailed analysis of telephone text messages and email communication between Maina and the bank officials.
The bulk of the monies, it was gathered, had been moved through some Bureau de Change operators,who convert them into dollars and then transfer to Maina in his hideout, believed to be United Arab Emirates.
The EFCC has been on the trail of Maina for a number of years.
Before the agency filed charges against him in absentia, it arrested the woman, who served as secretary to Maina during his reign as the chairman of the controversial PRTT, during which billions of pension funds reportedly disappeared from the treasury.
Ann Igwe, who was a confidant of Maina, was grilled by the agency and she allegedly made useful confessions on how the biometric contract allegedly awarded to streamline pension administration under Maina actually became a conduit for stealing pension fund.