How Naval Officer Diverted Over N1.9b From Nigerian Navy’s Accounts – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how a Naval Officer, Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu, allegedly used separate accounts with Standard Chartered Bank and Zenith Bank to warehouse and launder a whopping sum of N60,430,101.21, $3,869, 203.85, €59,684.81 and GBP 406,580.34, from the Nigerian Navy operating accounts.

The anti-graft agency disclosed this in a motion ex parte it filed against the respective bank accounts owned by Ahmadu before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja division.

According to the court process seen by our correspondent, Ahmadu was one of the main signatories to the domiciliary account of the Chief of Naval Staff Operations with account number 2021078172 with First bank between January 2011 to January 2016.

It added that it traced a credit inflow of over USD$ 11 million in the account and of which USD$1 million came from Office of the National Security Adviser.


EFCC added that it was during the period that it traced huge sums of money in different currencies deposited in Ahmadu’s four accounts with the Standard Chartered Bank and Zenith Bank.

In one of the accounts under investigation, the anti-graft agency stated that “ Analysis carried out on the account mentioned in paragraph 2.7(iv) above revealed the following facts: That this account experienced several suspicious cash deposit from individuals, companies and self, leaving an account balance of N60,000,000.

EFCC’s counsel, Sylvanus Tahir Esq, told the court on Tuesday that the Naval Officer, without any known business, had large amount of monies in four of his accounts.

He argued that investigation did not show any contract or services executed by Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu for or on behalf of the Nigerian Navy or Chief of Naval Staff between 2011 till date, to warrant such humongous deposits

“The owner of the account was a Naval Officer and monies from the Nigerian Navy was flowing into his account. He has no private business,” he said.

He urged the court to grant EFCC a preservative order on the accused bank accounts, and that as soon as investigation was concluded, “if found wanting, we will file a criminal charge against him.”

He therefore sought for the following orders:

“AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting the Chairman of the Commission or any Officer authorized by him power to instruct the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank or Chief Compliance Officer of Standard Chartered Bank to issue a freezing order as specified in Form B of the Schedule to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act, 2004 in respect of the accounts shown in the schedule here under until the conclusion of investigation into this case.

“AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting the Executive Chairman of the Commission or any officer authorized by him power to instruct the Managing Director of Zenith Bank PLC Chief Compliance Officer of Zenith Bank PLC to issue a freezing order as specified in Form B of the Schedule to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 respect of the accounts shown in the schedule hereunder until the conclusion of investigation into this case.

“AN ORDER stopping all outward payments, Operations or transactions (including bills of exchange) in the ordinary course of banking in respect of the accounts of the persons set out in the Schedules A therein.

“AN ORDER freezing the bank accounts of the persons set out in the Schedule A.”

Upon hearing his prayers, Justice Egwuatu granted the order but added that anyone who disagrees with the court decision should approach it and show cause why the order should be lifted.

“I have considered the sections of the constitution relating to money laundering and I have listened to the counsel
“Accordingly, I grant the prayer sought pending the conclusion of this investigation; any person disagreeing with the decision can approach the court for redress, “he ruled.

BACKGROUND

According to the EFCC, the office the National Security Adviser (ONSA) reported a case of criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, contract scam, misappropriation of public funds and fraud to its office.

Officials fingered in the allegation were Admiral J.D. Ezeoba (former Chief of Naval Staff), Vice Admiral Jibrin Usman Oyibe, Rear Admiral Bala Mohammed Mshella, Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu And GCA Energy and Properties Ltd.

“This report was occasioned by a suspicious transaction report (STR) from the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) relating to heavy inflows of money from the bank account of the Chief of Naval Staff Operation account into different accounts linked to Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu.

“Investigation carried out by the Commission revealed that Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu operates several accounts,” Tahir’s written address stated.

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