© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
EXCLUSIVE: Maimuna Aliyu goes into hiding
Maimuna Aliyu, the rejected nominee to the board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), has gone into hiding.
This is not the best of times for Maimuna, whose daughter is currently remanded at Suleja Prisons, for allegedly stabbing her husband, Bilyamin Bello, to death.
Maimuna was one of 14 persons nominated on August 1 by then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to the ICPC board, but she was dropped after an exclusive report by the ICIR detailing how the ICPC was investigating her — as well as Sa’ad Alanamu — for multimillion-naira corruption.
She is due to be arraigned in court on Tuesday November 27 at an Abuja High Court, but there is now no trace of her anywhere around the Federal Capital territory (FCT) or elsewhere in the country.
“Maimuna Aliyu has gone into hiding. We have completely lost track of her,” a security source closely involved in the monitoring of her movements, ahead of the arraignment, told the ICIR on Monday evening.
“We have no trace of her, which is a big surprise, given the current travails of her daughter. With her daughter facing the law for alleged murder, no one would have thought this to happen. But I can tell you that she has gone underground.”
MARKED OUT FOR CORRUPTION
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Police and the ICPC were already investigating several corruption cases against Maimuna, a former Executive Director of the Aso Savings and Loans, when her board nomination was announced.
In fact, in May, a police investigative report indicted her and recommended her for prosecution. The investigative report dated May 31, 2017, and signed by Taiwo Oyewale, a Superintendent of Police, for the Deputy Commissioner of Police, IGP Monitoring Unit, said that Aliyu illegally converted to personal use a total of N58 million being proceeds of three plots of land belonging to her employers, Aso Savings and Loans.
Police investigations showed that as Executive Director, Marketing, Aliyu got approval to sell three of the bank’s landed properties in Abuja. The plots were offered for N19 million each. Aliyu is said to have sold the lands for N58 million but refused to hand over the money to the bank.
The police investigations commenced after Aso Savings and Loans wrote a petition in November 2016 alleging that Aliyu, who had by then retired from the bank for three years, had refused to hand over the proceeds of the land sale.
The same month, the bank also wrote a petition against her to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the EFCC and the ICPC
In one of the investigations, it was discovered that Aliyu actually sold the three plots of land entrusted to her by the bank at N40 million each (instead of N19 million) totaling N120 million and held on to every penny.
Apart from the N120 million allegedly misappropriated by her, the bank also lodged several complaints of abuse of office and conversion or diversion of its funds, totaling nearly N1 billion.
The bank alleged that in 2012, Aliyu sought and got a mortgage facility of N40 million to purchase five houses – four-bedroom detached mansionettes. However, after she resigned her appointment in September 2013, the former Executive Director said she could no longer bear the burden of the payments and requested the bank to cancel the mortgage on four units and take them over. She said she would continue to maintain the mortgage contract on just one unit.
However, since 2013 when she left the bank, Aliyu has refused to hand over the four houses and has not serviced the mortgage on them. In fact, investigators believe that she has since sold the units and pocketed the money.
The bank also alleged that Aliyu abused her office by illegally allocating a house at Aso Groove Estate to her son, Sand Aliyu. According to the bank, Aliyu had showed interest in buying the house for her son in the name of a company in which he is a director. However, because she had all the keys of the houses put up for sale by the bank since she was in charge of marketing and sales, Aliyu handed over the key to the house to her son without paying a dime for the house worth N210 million. She still has not paid for the house till date and her son continues to live there.
The charges against her, according to court documents, read:
“That you Mimuna Aliyu (f); on the 7th of December, 2012 or thereabout in Abuja, being the Executive Director [Retail] of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja at the time, used your said position to confer corrupt advantage upon yourself when you received the sum of about $360,000 (Three Hundred & Sixty Thousand Dollars) the equivalent of N57,000,000.00 (Fifty – Seven Million Naira) at the time being the amount for the sale of Plots Nos 2432; 2433; and 2434 all in Cadastral Zone B08, Jahi District, Abuja, property of Aso Savings and Loans Plc; from one Banagana Bashir on behalf of Vincent Mshelia and you failed to remit the said amount to Aso Savings and Loans Plc as required; and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
“That you Maimuna Aliyu (f); a former Executive Director [Retail] of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja; on the 10th of January, 2017 or thereabout in Abuja, made false statements to the operative of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in the course of their official duties that Plots Nos 2432; 2433; and 2434 all in Cadastral Zone B08, Jahi District, Abuja, properties of ASo Savings & Loans PLc were sold to Banagana Bashir acting as agent for Vincent Mshelia of Subwang Global Integrated Limited, and that you handed over the sum of about $360,000 (Three Hundred & Sixty Thousand Dollars) the equivalent of N57,000,000.00 (Fifty – Seven Million Naira) being the amount for the sale of the said plots at the time, to one Bilkisu Rimi ( Company Secretary, Aso Savings & Loans Pls), statements you know to be false; and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 25 (1) (a) & (b) of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000.
“That you Maimuna Aliyu (f); between the 7th of December, 2012 or thereabout in Abuja, being the Executive Director [Retail] of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja at the time, entrusted with the original copies of the offer in respect of Plots Nos 2432; 2433; and 2434 all in Cadastral Zone B08, Jahi District, Abuja, for purposes of selling same on behalf of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, did commit criminal breach of trust when you disposed of the said plots of land to Banagana Bashir acting as agent for Vincent Mshelia of Subwang Global Integrated limited and you dishonestly misappropriated the total sum of about $360,000 (Three Hundred & Sixty Thousand Dollars) the equivalent of N57,000,000.00 (Fifty – Seven Million Naira) at the time as you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 311 and punishable under section 312 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of Northern Nigeria 1990.”
He disappearance notwithstanding, the ICPC is expected to show up in court on Tuesday to get a new arraignment date.