Globacom: EFCC Arrests Babangidas Son

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August 12, 2006/thisday




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested Moha-mmed, the first son of former Military President, General Ibrahim Baba-ngida in connection with investigations into the shares of Globacom, one of Nigeria\'s leading mobile telecommunication companies.

Sources close to EFCC told THISDAY last night that Mohammed was arrested in Abuja after EFCC confirmed that he owns 24 per cent of Globacom shares, contrary to information given to the EFCC by the company. The source said Mohammed had purchased the shares in Globacom in the name of a false company with an address in Kaduna. He had earlier denied having anything to do with the Globacom shares.

EFCC operatives however traced the address of the holding company in whose name the shares were bought to a house in Kaduna. They later found out that Mohammed owns the Kaduna house.

Also, a man arrested in the Kaduna house told EFCC operatives that he was representing Moham-med\'s interest and that he knew nothing about investments in Globacom. EFCC operatives are interrogating Mohammed over how he got the money, amounting to billions of naira, used to purchase the shares.

Last month, Chairman of Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga was arrested by the Commission\'s officials over alleged non-remittance of Petroleum Develo-pment Tax collected from consumers by Consoli-dated oil owned by him. He was reportedly released after the intervention of the presidency.

EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu had on Thursday vowed that the commission would expose all highly placed individuals who had looted public treasury. Ribadu, who said this in Lagos at a lecture organised by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), explained that the disclosure would enhance the commission’s campaign against corrupt politicians who were waiting in the wings to take power in 2007.

“Over $400 billion oil money has been stolen by bad leaders. We are going to trace the activities of past and present leaders and publish the names of those leaders who have laundered money, their accounts and the names of the banks where the money is being kept.

“We will also close the account of those politicians who have laundered money and converted it for their political ambitions. This will stop bad people from coming into power,” he threatened.

He said the commission would monitor closely the use of revenue allocated to the three tiers of government to ensure that the money was not laundered.

According to Ribadu, what most of the governors get from the Federation Account monthly is enough to develop their states but regretted that instead of applying the funds for the good of the public, they disappeared into private bank accounts.

He said: “There are a lot of cases of government officials who connived with banks to steal government money. This money is being converted and transferred to other countries.

\"Over 80 per cent of Nigeria\'s money has gone to waste. This is a country with massive resources but people are suffering simply because we have poor management.”

He said his commission would surprise corrupt leaders. “We respect people but there is no reason why people should respect a thief. If the leaders reduce themselves to cheap goat, we will discipline them,” he stated.
Maintaining that the commission was ready to deal decisively with bank officials who connived with government officials to steal money, Ribadu disclosed that EFCC would within two weeks take up a Managing Director of one of the big banks in the country.

Though he refused to disclose the name of the managing director, he nonetheless vowed to remove all fraudsters from the banking sector.

“We are working to reduce corruption in the country. If we clean the banking sector, we may have helped to clean other sectors”, he said.

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