Buhari and serial fraud scandals: The past was another country

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By Ifeanyi Izeze

Indeed the past was another country not this one we have today. Within a space of ten days we’ve heard of over seven cases of alleged stealing of our commonwealth to the tune of over two trillion naira (cumulative) not by armed robbers, no, but by people former “Mr Integrity,” President Mohammadu Buhari appointed into positions of trust to manage the resources.

First it was the Attorney General’s Office and the aides thereof racketeering on sale of Presidential pardon.

This was followed by the Office of the Accountant General where it was disclosed that over N80 billion was single-handedly misapplied or even siphoned by the nation’s chief accounts officer.

The arrested Acountant General implicated the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed Shamsuma. He told his interrogators that she owned properties in Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos and Dubai laundered in the name of her husband.

Now we are being told that even the previous AG had his own case to answer. This particular officer, as reported, has returned a fraction of what he is being accused of stealing. Not to talk of the Acting Accountant General, Anamekwe Nwabuoku who is also being alleged to have a heavy corruption dossier that is also being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Even the Minister of Finance has been accused of mammoth corruption and sleaze using her husband and his businesses in Nigeria and the Middle East as front.

We’ve not forgotten the scandal in NPA involving trillions of naira unaccounted for by the former managing director Hadiza…

The NIMASSA DG is currently being fingered in over 1Trillion naira sleaze not minding his grossly disjointed statement denying the allegation which he described as a case of switched identities.

Few days ago we were alerted that United Kingdom investigators have busted another corruption scandal in the General Muhammadu Buhari led administration involving the Managing Director, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, where various sums including N1.5 trillion and another $9,557,312.50 have been traced to his personal accounts.

The investigation, according to the report focused on fraud, money laundering and breach of the Nigeria Code of Conduct Act. This same investigation, it stated spans across all the Agencies under the Ministry of Transportation having started with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

As reported by Pointblanknews.com, “Curiously, the Fidelity account with N1, 505,890,450,000.67 has Hamza Ibrahim Jamoh with BVN   22151837650 and Cell phone number 08034517410. While the BVN number revealed a different identity, the cell phone linked to the account is linked to the DG of NIMASA, Jamoh.

“The N1.5trillion was after few months cleared from the account to avoid investigations on the lodgment of such huge amount.

“In a four page document titled due diligent report on Bashiru Yusuf Jamoh, the Director-General NIMASA, which pointblanknews.com has copies, the report exposed another lodgment of $9,557,312.50 into Access Bank account 0710814478 also belonging to him.

“The investigation also exposed other infractions by the agency’s boss which also include award of contracts to companies which he has interest in.”

Denying the allegation, the NIMASA boss said: “There are indications that the reported allegations of N1.5 trillion and $9million fraud against Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was a case of pure mistaken identity. It was rather one Hamza Ibrahim Jamo, a retired employee of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a different individual without link to NIMASA DG.

If it was the retired NNPC staff as claimed by the NIMASA helmsman, what of the BVN that carries the name of the Bashir Jamoh?

As Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore said in a May 19 social media update, “Two Nigerian officials arrested for stealing N127billion: ₦80b + ₦ 47b = ₦127billion. And all we need to end ASUU strike is a a deposit of ₦200billion. If one more Nigerian crook is arrested, in this case @cenbank Gov. Godwin Emefiele @emefielegodwin, money to pay off ASUU is complete!” And bringing the NIMASA guy to account, will comfortably enable our children go back to their universities as ASUU will be glad to resume work. You see where this country has found itself!

Why are our universities shut down for going to one year now? Is it not just because the university lecturers are saying that their take-home pay can’t take them home any longer, it is mainly that the accountant general of the federation and his cronies also use IPPIS to steal from their monthly earnings.

How do you explain that the Accountant General, Idris, actually got the bulk of his ill-gotten wealth on the back of the despair and agony of university lecturers? He blatantly stole lecturers’ salaries through the fraudulent Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which ironically bills itself as a safeguard against fraud.

As said by Prof Farooq Kperogi in one of his posits, “I wish someone would indoctrinate Nigerians to be as angry, touchy, intolerant, and pushed to draw ‘red lines’ over injustice, misgovernance, elite cruelty, etc. as some people in the Muslim North are over “blasphemy.”

Money stolen by Nigerian political class and their cronies is much more than money borrowed from China by Buhari administration put together. If this government is ready to unveil the truth, they can recover all the loots and pay Nigeria’s debts and still have surplus to run the Nigeria. But they won’t do it because na the same people. God help Nigeria!

  • Mr. Izeze is a Columnist with National Daily Newspaper and can be reached on: email: [email protected]; GSM: 234-8033043009