A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has given the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) the nod for an interim forfeiture order to seize N2, 417, 037, 404 billion illegally acquired by a former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr. Haruna Momoh.
The Commission said on Monday that it has initiated moves to recover the N2.4 billion permanently alongside some landed properties linked to Momoh.
It said the cash includes foreign and local currencies, stashed in multiple accounts in four different banks as well as five landed properties located in different parts of Abuja metropolis.
Besides, the ICPC said it uncovered four bank accounts owned by Eileen Ochuko Momoh, the wife of the ex-PPMC boss, with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) where N469.2 million (in foreign and local currencies) was lodged.
Also linked to the wife were two other accounts with Union Bank, where the commission found $1, 678, 975 million and N496, 137, 895 million respectively.
The commission said the ex-PPMC boss allegedly perpetrated the fraud through three firms namely, Multi-Functions Nigeria Limited, Blaid Property limited and Blaid Construction Limited.
Mrs. Momoh was discovered to be the owner of Blaid Construction as shown by the incorporation details of the company.
But there were indications that, Momoh, who had escaped abroad, might be watch-listed to enable foreign agencies to effect his arrest.
The commission made the disclosures in a statement by its spokesperson in Abuja, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa.
The statement reads: “The Commission, before approaching Justice O. A. Adeniyi, for the order of interim forfeiture, had found through investigation that the former PPMC boss allegedly abused his position by using cronies and shell companies to divert government funds.
“He allegedly used Multi-Functions Nigeria Limited, Blaid Property limited and Blaid Construction Limited to carry out several unlawful activities running into billions of naira.
“Contracts were secured for the companies from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) without any corresponding evidence of execution.
“Investigation revealed that the sum of N1.4 billion was traced to six bank accounts in two different banks operated by Momoh’s wife, Eileen Ochuko Momoh, who is the owner of Blaid Construction as shown by the incorporation details of the company.
“The wife has four bank accounts with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) where the combined sum of N469.2 million in foreign and local currencies was stashed and two other accounts with Union Bank, where the Commission found $1, 678, 975 million and N496, 137, 895 million respectively.
“ICPC further discovered Euro 173, 601.55, $5, 563.21 and N876, 209, 744 million three Stanbic IBTC bank accounts traced to Multi-functions Nigeria Limited and the sum of N800, 663.43 in Citibank also belonging to the same company.
“The properties likely to be forfeited are: Plot 199, Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Utako; Nos. 21, 22, 23 and 26 Olympia Estate, Kaura District; Plot 1824, Cadastral Zone; BO7, Katampe; Plot 1827, Cadastral Zone; BO7 Katampe and No. 6 Casamance Street, Wuse Zone 3, all in Federal Capital, Abuja.
“Justice Adeniyi, while granting the interim forfeiture ruled that the money be placed in an interest-yielding escrow accounts in the name of ICPC.”
Apart from the investigation of the ICPC, Haruna Momoh had been on the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
As part of the ongoing probe of $18.5 billion earnings by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the EFCC has traced eight suspected assets in Dubai to Momoh.
The EFCC was said to be tracking his movement and assets, especially in the United Arab Emirates and Swiss Cottage London, St. John’s Wood London, New York and Lagos.
According to a document, eight of the suspected assets had been identified by a team of detectives in Dubai.
The list of the suspected properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) includes houses at First Group Marina Hotels, Al-Seba Street, Plot 394-426, Dubai, AE-AJ United Arab Emirates; Unit 503, 1 Bedroom Heritage, 5th Floor located at First Central Dubai Media City TECOM off Sheikh Zayed, TECOM Al- Barsha 3 Dubai; Unit 1910 ES Heritage, 19th Floor located at First Central Dubai Media City TECOM off Sheikh Zayed, TECOM Al- Barsha 3 Dubai; a Unit 2507 Dubai Sports City; Unit 314 Dubai Sports City; and Unit 1002, TECOM BARS 125616.
Others are: Unit 1402, PS 14th Floor located at Metro Central, TECOM near Internet City Metro Station, Dubai ( UAE); Unit 712, ES 7th Floor located at First Central, Off Sheikh Zayeed, TECOM, Al-Barsha 3 Dubai( UAE); Unit 512, 5th Floor located at First Group Marina Hotels, Al-Seba Street, Plot 394-426, Dubai AE-AJ UAE.
A report by the EFCC said in part: “Preliminary findings by our team showed that the ex-PPMC has a case to answer bordering on allegations of serving as a front for a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the alleged $205 million Kerosene subsidy scam while in charge of the subsidiary of NNPC; and the controversial $18.5b earnings by NNPC which had not been effectively accounted for.
“We have a report of the forensic audit of NNPC and its subsidiaries by Price Waterhouse Coopers which confirmed Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Kerosene subsidy fraud. We need Momoh to clarify some issues.
“The PwC said in its report as follows: ‘Our examination of the PMS and DPK import verified by PPPRA revealed that some discharges were apparently verified and subsidy advised to NNPC more than once.’ So, he needs to interact with our team.”
The source confirmed that about $18.5 billion unaccounted earnings of NNPC were being looked at.
“Again, the ex-minister, Momoh and heads of subsidiaries are under probe. The PwC specifically identified $36.05 million ‘over-statement’ in PPPRA’s PMS subsidy payment advice to the NNPC. The report recommended that the NNPC and its subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, should refund to the Federation Account “a minimum of $1.48 billion”. All these references referred to an audit report initiated by the administration of ex-President Jonathan.”