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ICPC files N1bn charges against former Customs CG, Dikko, to arraign him in absentia

FORMER Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko, will be arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday, January 14, 2019, before Justice Lucia Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Dikko, whom the ICPC described as currently on the run, is charged alongside Garba Makarfi, former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer.

The Premium Times reports that trio was accused of inducing one Yemi Obadeyi to pay the total sum of N1,100, 952,380.96 into the account of Capital Law Office (a company belonging to Hussaini) for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Hussaini was said to have distributed the money into various other bank accounts and for his part in the deal, he was rewarded with the sum of $3 million.

According to the affidavit deposed to by  Ephraim Otti, ICPC’s legal officer, the illegal activities of Dikko and his co-accused were contrary sections of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000; Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had recovered several luxury vehicles from a warehouse which the commission said was owned by Dikko. In another operation by the EFCC on another of Dikko’s properties, several units of tricycles, motorcycles, buses, and rug carpets were also recovered.

In June 2016, Dikko was arrested and queried by the EFCC. He surrendered himself to the anti-graft agency after months of being outside the country.

Dikko was said to have acquired a N2 billion mansion in the Jabi district of Abuja. Another N2.6billion was also said to have been withdrawn from the account of the Nigeria Customs and paid into several bank accounts belonging to companies allegedly floated by a former Assistant Comptroller General who served under Dikko.

Later, in November 2016, the EFCC through its then spokesperson told the media that Dikko had returned N1 billion to the federal government coffers.

A corruption case filed against Dikko before Justice Binta Nyako of the federal high court is still ongoing, but the EFCC had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court asking for all cases involving the commission to be withdrawn from Justice Nyako, as her husband, former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, is also being prosecuted by the commission.

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