•Searches for cash, other items
•They came without search warrant – Dikko’s relative
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
OPERATIVES of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, yesterday, raided the Abuja home of immediate past Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Inde Dikko, in search of cash and other suspected items. The former CGC is said to have presided over an organisation, which is believed to have generated huge revenues but also made the Federal Government to lose heavy revenues through import duty waivers for top politicians and their cronies.
The EFCC is said to be working on the allegation that the yearly revenue declared by the NCS was grossly lower than what was actually collected while some of its top officials were living far above their means. During his time, Dikko was always commended for the revenues the customs raised.
It was gathered that the suspicion of fund mismanagement and other forms of wrongdoings that had short-changed the nation, were responsible for the immediate sweep of the top echelon of the NSC by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the appointment of a no-nonsense military officer, Col Hameed Ali, retd, to clean up the mess at the top revenue-generating agency of the Federal Government.
Although no specific allegation has yet been levelled against Dikko, it was learned that the raid in his house was a prelude to moving against him by the anti-corruption agency. The EFCC, however, declined to speak up on the invasion of the house when Saturday Vanguard called its spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwajaren around 7pm, yesterday.
Mr. Uwajaren said he had no information on the development. Saturday Vanguard learned that the search party made up of no fewer than seven tough operatives, stormed Abdullahi Dikko’s home located on 6, Ahmed Musa Crescent, Jabi, at about 7 am but did not meet their target at home. It was gathered that Dikko from the same state of Katsina with President Buhari, who voluntarily retired from office as soon as the president won his election, was out of the country at the time the visitors invaded his home.
Competent sources said that the commission was acting on a tip-off that a large amount of cash had been stored in Dikko’s homes. It was learned that the operatives had earlier in the week raided a mansion in the Maitama District of Abuja, which they thought the huge cash was being kept but hit the rock and decided to swoop on the Jabi residence of the former CGC.
It was not clear if the raid yielded their expected result as at the time of going to the press, but a reliable source said that not much was found at the end of the search, which was concluded late in the evening, yesterday. The abrupt search of the man’s house, took his children and other family members by surprise, as some of them broke down and wept in the presence of the armed men.
Mohammed Usman, a relative of Dikko, who was taken aback by the action of the operatives, said it was alarming that the armed men could just break into the house and search without any notice or presence of the owner. Usman said: “From the information available to me, no search warrant was presented before the commencement of the search. “As I speak to you, they are currently in my uncle’s bedroom carrying out the search in his absence.”