EFFC Narrates How Former Gov. Nyako, His Son, Aide Looted Adamawa
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday narrated how former Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako, his son, Abdulaziz (a serving senator), and two of the ex-governor’s aides allegedly looted billions of public funds.
Facing trial with them at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja are Zulkifikk Abba (Nyako’s ex-political adviser), Abubakar Aliyu and five companies in which they allegedly have interests.
The companies are Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.
They were slammed with a 37-count charge of conspiracy, money laundering and abuse of office.
The commission in its counter-affidavit to the accused persons’ bail application at the court, said that it would be out of place to grant them bail in view of the gravity of their offences.
It also claimed that the ‘mysterious deaths’ of two of its witnesses – Ma’aji Mohammed Iro and Abdulmalik Dalhatu – “has instilled fear in other prospective witnesses in this case.”
Iro was, until his death, a Regional Manager with Zenith Bank.
He was said to be in charge of Adamawa State Government’s accounts with the bank, and allegedly assisted the accused persons in laundering billions of naira from the state’s coffers.
The EFCC said: “The 1st and 2nd accused persons (Nyako and Abaduaziz) are the owners of the 6th accused (Sebore Farms & Extension Limited), which they operated by themselves. Several fictitious contracts, running into billions of naira, were awarded to the said 6th accused while the 1st accused was governor of Adamawa State. One Ma’aji Mohammed Iro was in charge of the accounts of Adamawa State with Zenith Bank.
“On the instruction of the 1st accused, Ma’aji Mohammed Iro made several cash lodgments running into billions of naira into the accounts of several companies and individuals including the accounts of the 6th to 9th accused (Blue Opal Ltd, Sebore Farms & Extension Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd) all from the accounts of Adamawa State Government for no specific reason.
“On the instruction of the 1st accused, N698,408,011.62 was paid from the account of Adamawa State Government with Zenith Bank into the account of the 6th accused (Sebore Farms and Extension ltd) with the same bank to service and liquidate the loan of N500 million obtained by the 6th accused.
“Another sum of N160m was deposited into the account of Agrited Nigeria Ltd on the instruction of the 1st accused from the account of the Adamawa State Government with no contract rendered to the state.
“Several moneys running into over N5 billion of Adamawa State funds were transferred to the 9th accused (Crust Energy Ltd) mostly on the instruction of the 1st accused.
“About N240 million of Adamawa State was invested by the 7th accused – Pagoda Fortunes Ltd (a company owned by a son of the 1st accused) in Hill View Estate, Abuja, an estate owned by the 2nd accused (Abdulaziz Nyako).
“The 3rd accused (Zulkifikk Abba), who is a political adviser to the 1st accused, is the owner of Alpharetta Farms Ltd, one of the companies through which funds of Adamawa State was stolen. The 3rd accused is a director in the 9th accused (Crust Energy Ltd), a company controlled by the 2nd accused and through which several billion of naira belonging to Adamawa State was stolen.
“The 4th accused (Abubakar Aliyu) is a signatory to several accounts of the 5th accused (Blue Opal Ltd), through which several monies running into billions of naira from the funds of Adamawa State Government were laundered to develop Hill View Estate, Abuja.”
However, Justice Evoh Chukwu rejected EFCC’s objection and granted bail to the accused persons at N350 million with either two sureties or one, who is a director in any Federal Government’s establishment.
The sureties, the judge said, must own landed property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), show evidence of tax payment for the last three years and must swear to affidavit of means. The accused persons are to deposit their travel documents with the court