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EFCC traces 38 houses to Ngozi Olojeme, ex-NSITF chairman

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has identified 38 houses allegedly belonging to Ngozi Olojeme, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The Nation reported that the houses are scattered across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

EFCC is investigating Olojeme, who was NSITF Chairman between 2009 and 2015, for alleged diversion of $48 million out of the N62.3 billion reportedly missing from the account of the fund.

Of N62.3billion fraud discovered in NSITF, $48,485,127 is allegedly credited to her.

She was also Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Goodluck Campaign Organisation in 2015.

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While the Commission said it had obtained an interim forfeiture order from the court to seize the properties until the conclusion of the case against her, it also has a warrant authorising her detention for two weeks for further interrogation.

This, the Commission explained, will allow it to complete the first round of the investigation and her arraignment.

But Olojeme has reportedly taken ill and is in a private hospital in Abuja, where she’s being watched by EFCC operatives.

“EFCC recovered over 40 properties, out of which 38 belong to the ex-NSITF chairman, including the property at No. 51, Kainji Crescent, off Lake Chad Crescent in Maitama District,” the paper quoted a source as saying.

“The Kainji Crescent property is said to have housed some foreign leaders when they came visiting. It is a multi-billion-naira mansion.

“We have invoked Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004, which empower the agency to apply the Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.”

Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: “Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.”

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According to the anti-graft agency, the mansion at No. 51, Kainji Crescent in Maitama was rated as a “multi-billion-naira piece with some foreign leaders occasionally staying there when they come visiting”.

The golden mansion was at the weekend sealed off by the EFCC.

The EFCC already arraigned Umar Munir Abubakar,a former Managing Director of NSITF,  and four others for alleged diversion of N18billion.

The others are Henry Ekhasomi Sambo, Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe,  Richard U. Uche and Aderemi Adegboyega.

The money was said to be the Federal Government’s contribution to the take-off grants and Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

EFCC’s report on preliminary investigation said in part: “That through this process, Dr. Ngozi Olojeme, the then NSITF board chairman, has collected a total sum of $48,485,127 from Mr. Chuka Eze (her account officer at FBN), which cash he collected on her behalf being the dollar equivalent of monies paid to BDCs by NSITF contractors.

“She and others also diverted huge cash allocated for allowances of its staff and compensation to contributors. Detectives actually traced some of the NSITF funds in the personal accounts of Olojeme and the former MD, Umar Abubakar.

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“For instance, Abubakar and others dishonestly converted to N18billion, being contribution from the Federal Government of Nigeria as take-off grants and Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) for MDAs.

“The said sum was diverted into personal accounts by an e-payment mandate jointly signed by Umar Munir Abubakar and Henry Ekhasomi Sambo.”

The report added: “It was discovered that the NSITF accounts in First Bank of Nigeria and other banks have witnessed a total turnover of over N62, 358,401,927 between 2012 and 2015 from the Employee Compensation Scheme contributions.

“That out of the N62bn, the Federal Government contributed N13,600,000,000 while the sum of N48,758,401,927.80 was contributed by the private sector. That there were several payments to individuals and companies from the NSITF bank accounts for purported contracts or consultancy services.

“That some individuals and companies that received these payments, in turn, transferred part of the monies directly to the NSITF officials while others transferred huge sums to bureau de change operators who changed them to dollars.”

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