The source of a whopping $40million found in the account of Roberts Azibaola, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan has been unearth by hard fighting anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to reports by The Nation newspaper, the money was wired through Citibank N. A. Canada Square Canary in Wharf London E 145 LB into the account of One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited of Azibaola.
The report also said $6million of the money was paid to a bureau de change in Abuja.
Citing a document seen by the newspaper’s reporters, the report said: “The Special Services Office has a joint account with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and some security agencies, which was managed by ONSA.
“The $40million was wired into the account of Azibaola’s company through Citibank N. A. Canada Square Canary in Wharf London E 145 LB.
“The money was transferred to One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited with Robert Azibaola and Stella Azibaola as directors. All disbursements went to individuals and companies including two foreign firms and the wife of the ex-President’s cousin. About $5.5million has been allegedly transferred to Mrs. Azibaola.
“The $40mmillion was in respect of a contract for the supply of Tactical Communication Kits for Special Forces. No records of contract executed.
“We wrote to the Office of the SGF and the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office (PSSO) said: “The SGF office is not in possession of any document or evidence of contract.
“Even the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) said it had no records of the contract but it only made available payment advice to transfer the funds to the Azibaola’s account
Azibaola, who was yet to make any refund and has been relocated from Lagos to Abuja in preparation for his trial. He was arrested by EFCC on March 23 in line with the ongoing probe of 300 companies involved in phantom contracts by ONSA.
An EFCC source said the commission will have to release the outcome of investigations to show that the EFCC is not engaging in any witch-hunt against the cousin of the ex-President.
But Azibaola’s counsel Gordy Uche (SAN) says EFCC is on a vendetta mission against former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He claimed the Federal Government was still owing his client $4million, being balance of the contract sum for “successfully securing oil pipelines which saw Nigeria reap billions of US dollars from increased oil production”.
“My client is innocent until proven guilty, according to the laws of Nigeria. So, his continuous detention is a breach of his fundamental human rights as a free citizen of Nigeria. The appropriate thing for the EFCC to do in this circumstance is to release him now or charge him to court,” he said in a statement released to newsmen.
Meanwhile, his family asked the EFCC to release their son, saying he did not breach any law.
The Federal High Court in Abuja said the detention of Robert, by the EFCC for over two weeks is unconstitutional, asking that he be granted bail. But, the anti-graft agency has refused to heed to the court’s order.