Nigeria’s anti-graft organisation, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has petitioned, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, urging him to institute a probe and possible prosecute some banks over their alleged involvement in the money laundering case of the former chairman of now-defunct Pension Reforms Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Maina was recently sentenced to eight years imprisonment by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
According to CACOL, from the EFCC’s investigations as revealed during the court processes, some banks were said to have been found culpable for aiding and abetting fraud and were allegedly used by Maina as “conduits Pipes” to defraud pensioners and they ought to have been charged alongside Maina.
CACOL’s chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, in the letter he personally signed and a copy made available to our Reporter today Saturday, November 13, 2021 contended that the banks, two of them, “provided the channels with which the convict (Abdulrasheed Maina) used in defrauding the Federal Government, and for this reason, the licence of the bank ought to have been withdrawn as the bank benefitted from the proceeds of illegal transactions.”
Adeniran stressed that even the judge, Justice Okon Abang, had declared that the convict, through the assistance of the fingered banks, deprived the pensioners that gave their all to the country in their youthful age, their legitimate earnings.
He quoted Justice Abang of stating in his ruling that the pensioners were suffering, “Whereas the convict was feeding fat on their sweat in faraway Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), buying choice properties, driving bulletproof cars, living in affluence beyond his legitimate earnings”.
Adenian argued that going by Justice Abang’s ruling and the EFCC’s findings, CACOL was calling for appropriate sanctions to be meted out to these banks which might include the withdrawal of their operating licences, punishment and prosecution of offending bank officials.
Adeniran told the EFCC boss thus: “CACOL, as you are aware, is an aggregate of human rights, community based and civil society organisations and individuals with an anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organisation.
“Sir, we are encouraged to submit this petition to you based on our resolve to always expose any corrupt act(s) being perpetrated by anyone either in public or private sphere.
“Moreover, this petition is directed at your good offices, knowing that statutorily, it is the primary responsibility of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate and prosecute this kind of cases and we have no doubt that you will do due diligence in carrying out this assignment for public good.
“We are thanking you for your anticipated cooperation, detailed investigation and diligent prosecution, if need be. We would also urge you to please keep us posted about the progress being made on the case from time to time”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.