*How agency’s probe was triggered
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded plan to prosecute the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam and six other top officials of the agency for allegedly misappropriating over N5B between 2013 and 2016.
Others that await their day in court are Director Finance and Accounts, Mrs Clara Aliche, Acting General Manager (Procurement) Muyiwa Adegorite, General Manager (Finance), Segun Nurudeen Agbolade, Acting General Manager (ICT), Bolaniran Akinribido, Acting General Manager (Electromagnetic Services) Atiku Abubakar and Project Manager, Felicia Agubata. They were among people arrested on February 12, 20016 and have been under EFCC’s custody.
Meanwhile, a source in EFCC told woleshadare.net that a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh is set to be used by the EFCC to nail the officials.
Udoh, whom Abdulsalam replaced in 2014 as MD is also facing interrogation by the EFCC over alleged misappropriation of funds.
A director in NAMA who was not one of the people arrested by anti-graft agency told our correspondent that the commission had concluded arrangement for him to serve as prosecution witness by the time Abdulsalam and other top chiefs of the agency are arraigned. He was said to have given ‘useful information’ to the EFCC.
The choice of Udoh as prosecution witness was borne out of the fact that he as a former NAMA MD knows the workings of how some of the procurements in the agency were carried out allegedly without due process dating back to period when he held sway as NAMA MD Abdulsalam was General Manager Procurement.
Feelers from the anti-graft agency indicated that one Ajayi Afolabi has been fingered as one of the conduit pipes used in siphoning NAMA’s resources.
He was said to have been connected with the purchase of fleet of properties acquired by some of the culprits abroad, especially in Canada. Afolabi is said to be a staff of NAMA on study leave in Canada.
He has been mandated to appear before the EFCC to explain his culpability or otherwise on or before two weeks from March 7, 2016.
It would be recalled that both Udoh and Abdulsalam reportedly single-handedly signed off payments of over “N3b on questionable contracts between 2013 and 2015, breaching civil rules on approval limits in the process”.
Part of the disclosures to EFCC operatives by the detained NAMA officials is that one of the officials, who is a General Manager in the Finance and Accounts department; apart from having over N1b in his account also has strings of petrol stations and properties in Lagos and other parts of the country.
The official was said to have explained to interrogating officials how the incumbent MD set off attention from his personal finances including bank accounts by instructing payments for himself to be transferred to off-shore accounts linked to his family members.
It was when EFCC officials were unable to trace any suspicious amount of money to Abdulsalam personally that they picked up the said General Manager who was said to have revealed how sleaze was being perpetrated in the agency.
It was also gathered that the EFCC searchlight on NAMA instigated by several petitions from insiders who had petitioned the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika who in turn turned in loads of documents to the anti-graft agency for further investigations and possible prosecution of indicted officials