ICPC charges ex-Customs chief, Dikko, two others to court over N1bn fraud – Independent Observers

ICPC charges ex-Customs chief, Dikko, two others to court over N1bn fraud

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to arraign Abdullahi Inde Dikko, a former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko, and two others in court next week Thursday for allegedly stealing more than N1 billion.

The matter, suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/21/2019-FRN v Abdullahi Inde Dikko & Ors, is billed to come up before Justice Lucia Ojukwu of Court 7, Abuja Federal High Court.

Other defendants with Dikko are Garba Makarfi, a former Assistant Comptroller-General of the agency in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law Office.

They are accused of inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1 billion (N1,100, 952,380.96) into the account of Capital Law Office as a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The ICPC accuses Messrs Dikko and Makarfi of using the bank account of Hussaini’s firm’s to illegally receive the money. The anti-graft agency further alleged that Hussaini within the same period between April 6 and December 2010 shared the money into various accounts.

Makarfi was accused of receiving three million dollars between April and December 2010, apparently as part of the proceeds of corruption.

ICPC in an affidavit, said the defendants were investigated for alleged violation 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). It said evidence from the investigation established a prima facie case against the accused.

Dikko, who was the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service between August 2009 and August 2015, has faced several allegations of fraudulently enriching himself and certificate forgery.

In 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized 17 exotic vehicles from him after Justice S. M. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court in Kaduna gave an interim order for their forfeiture to the federal government.

Less than a week after the forfeiture order, EFCC recovered dozens of brand new tricycles and motorcycles from a warehouse allegedly belonging to Dikko. The commission listed the recovered items to include: 42 brand new customised yellow-coloured tricycles; 16 brand new cargo motorcycles; one brand new white 32-seater Nissan civilian bus; one MAN diesel truck; 515 brand new imported rugs of different colours and sizes; two metal bulletproof safe with N1.565 billion and documents of transactions in different currencies within and outside the country.

Dikko’s name was also included in the list of looters released last year by the federal government through Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed.

The ICPC told the court that Mr Dikko is currently on the run. f

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