There is apprehension in some federal institutions and banks after anti-graft agents opened investigations into suspicious deals over the sales of assets seized by Assets Management Company of Nigeria from international fugitives Akanni Aluko and Jide Omokore.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently questioned the Managing Director of AMCON Ahmed Kuru, though there was no official disclosure of details.
However, anti-graft sources with knowledge of the matter told PREMIUM TIMES that the assets sales probe extends to top members of the National Assembly, officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and officials of First Bank and Polaris Bank suspected to have corruptly bought or facilitated sales of assets seized from Messrs Aluko and Omokore.
Messrs Aluko and Omokore are wanted over a billion-dollar scandal involving their company Atlantic Energy and suspicious oil deals facilitated by equally fugitive ex-minister petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Their debts to First Bank and Polaris Bank had been taken over by AMCON and their assets were subsequently seized to be resold to free up funds towards settling the debts.
However, AMCON, sources close to the EFCC probe said, sold the assets opaquely to National Assembly and CBN officials. “And records suggest Aluko and Omokore were able to use fronts to re-acquire the assets seized from them,” one source said.
The proceeds of the sales, amounting to N144 billion, were kept with First Bank and Polaris, instead of the federation account, the sources said.
Meanwhile, to secure Mr Kuru’s administrative bail last Thursday, both banks were asked by the EFCC to post a bail bond of N144 billion, the value of the proceeds of sales kept with them.
The spokespersons for First Bank – Folake Ani-Mumuney – and Polaris – Nduneche Ezurike – did not comment after calls and texts. Nor did spokespersons for AMCON and EFCC. AMCON’s spokesperson Jude Nwauzor had previously told PREMIUM TIMES that his MD, Mr Kuru, was “invited by the EFCC,” not arrested.
Already, EFCC sources said executives of the banks have been summoned for interrogations.