How ex-Customs CG, Dikko, shortchanged Nigeria of over N60bn

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By Odunewu Segun

Facts have begun to emerge on the Immediate past Customs Comptroller General, Alhaji Inde Dikko fraudulently withdrew over N40 billion and several other funds belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service.

The embattled Dikko who voluntarily surrendered himself to officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the 9th of June 2016 was declared wanted many months after his retirement.

Alhaji Dikko is officially being held by the EFCC over an alleged N42billion fraud and that the EFCC traced another sum of about N2.6billion to him which was allegedly withdrawn from one of the accounts of the Nigeria Customs Service and remitted to the accounts of some companies floated by a former Assistant Comptroller General who served under Dikko.

Sources also revealed that there were other allegations which Dikko has to clear. A discreet investigation has been going on for months, and this is the opportunity for him to clear the air on the allegation and other evidence that have emerged in the course of the investigation”, he said.

In addition to the EFCC’s probe of N42billion, National Daily also confirmed that a pressure group identified as the Nigerian Customs Transparency Initiative (NCTI) had also petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged abuse of office, disappearance of some containers and the N3.5 billion incurred on the installation of Internet facility by the Customs Service.

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In the petition, which was signed by Dr. James Onoja, the NCTI said: “Purchase of Vehicles: Prices of B.M.W vehicles for senior officers were criminally inflated. About N3.5 billion naira was siphoned and frittered away through an internet project that never saw daylight. “Thirteen (13) containers at T.C.I.P. was impounded sometimes ago. It was claimed that four Iranians were arrested with the containers, two of which disappeared into the thin air.

“There is a false declaration of Annual Customs Revenue Generation. In order to give false impression of excellent performance, the Customs Service adds figure of the Value Added Tax (VAT) which Customs collects on behalf of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the revenue derived from custom duties whereas the same VAT figure has been included in the VAT revenue declared and announced by FIRS as required by law, thereby creating a misleading duplication of revenue figure derive from VAT.

“The contract for the construction of Customs Staff College was aided and abetted by a Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, who was not a member of Nigeria Customs Board. The company used for the contract was registered three weeks after the award of the contract.

Also, the estate named Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Customs Barracks at Kuje was purchased at the inflated rate of N4billion and renovated with N10 billion. ”Apart from the NCTI petition, the EFCC said it also has evidences that Dikko’s N2 Billion mansion at Jabi in Abuja was funded largely through kickback from Customs contractors; even as it maintained that the N100million spent to buy the land on which the mansion was built was given to him by a Customs contractor, just like the first tranche of N650m used in the construction of the gigantic building.

Both the lawyer and the engineer allegedly admitted their roles, claiming that they acted on the instruction of the former CG’’, the EFCC disclosed.

 

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