By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – In a move to unravel diversion of funds from a domiciled account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has directed commercial banks to reject any payment instruction from Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The directive which is predicated on an ongoing investigation by the agency is coming at a time the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, is decrying the surge in the digital currency-related crimes in the country, saying the commission was inundated with petitions from victims.
A copy of a letter obtained by THISDAY, addressed to the Managing Director, WEMA Bank Plc, showed that EFCC was investigating a case of fraud, diversion of funds and money laundering by the Professor Nelson Brambaifa-led NDDC.
It said preliminary investigation showed that funds from the NDDC account domiciled in the CBN were being diverted to commercial banks.
In view of the development, the EFCC asked commercial banks to reject payment instruction from NDDC to corporate bodies with accounts in commercial banks.
In the letter dated June 10, 2019 entitled: Investigation Activities: Re: Payment of Niger Delta Development Commission-NDDC”, the agency said it was “investigating a case of fraud, diversion of funds and money laundering in which the above-named agency (NDDC) featured”.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that funds are being diverted from the above account domiciled in the CBN to commercial banks.
“In view of the above, you are requested to henceforth, reject any payments instruction from the accounts of the Niger Delta Development Commission to accounts of corporate bodies domiciled in your bank until further notice to forestall further diversion of the funds.”
“This request is made pursuant to Section 38 & 34 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and section 21 & 6 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, (as amended) 2011,” said the letter signed by the Lagos Zonal Head of the EFFC, Aminu Ado Aliyu.
When contacted, EFCC Spokesman, Tony Orilade, confirmed the authenticity of the document. He said the document emanated from EFCC.
Meanwhile, Magu, has described as worrisome the surge in the digital currency-related crimes in the country, saying the commission was inundated with petitions from victims.
Magu raised the concern yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State while delivering his speech at the opening of the 12th annual retreat for Heads of Security of Banks and Other Financial Institutions.
Themed “Fighting Financial Crimes in a Digital Economy”, the two-day retreat was organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, with senior bank officials and heads of security agencies across the country in attendance.
In the speech delivered on his behalf by a senior official of the commission, Hanafi Baba-Ahmed, the anti-corruption boss urged Nigerian bankers to remain guided by the ethics of their profession in the discharge of their duties, adding that the commission, including other sister anti-graft agencies, would rely on their expertise to wage effective war against the digital currency fraud epidemic.
He also commended the theme of the retreat which, according to him, would afford the participants the opportunity to appreciate the threats posed by the menace as well as discuss the security management strategies to tackle them.
Culled from THISDAY