The Anti-Corruption Network, led by former House of Representatives member Dino Melaye, has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force to account for the N191bn worth of assets seized by the Managing Director of the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc, Mrs Cecilia Ibru.
Ibru had been charged with financial offences, ranging from money laundering to wire fraud to abuse following her sack by the Central Bank of Nigeria. She had forfeited the assets to the Federal Government in a plea bargain deal where she admitted to mismanaging shareholders’ money.
Mr Melaye called on the EFCC and the Police SFU to tell Nigerians the whereabouts of all the properties, cash, shares and other things recovered from Ibru.
“Our investigation and physical visits to some of the properties in the United States and the United Kingdom revealed that some of the properties claimed to have been forfeited are still in her custody, directly and indirectly.
“Nigerians home and abroad were aware of the case against Cecilia Ibru amd her eventual conviction in a court of law. The case eventually ran aground Oceanic Bank and put billions of naira of shareholders’ money in jeopardy. You are also aware that plea bargain was introduced to this case and consequently, she was convicted disproportionately to the crime she committed,” he said.
He opined that the recovered properties be published, advertised and sold with the proceeds deposited with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Company and Assets Management Company of Nigeria.
The organization also demanded that an independent body be set up with the mandate of verifying the properties and their current status through investigation and visits to the countries where some of the assets are.
Melaye said, “Mrs Ibru has since been freed. The EFCC claimed that they had recovered all the properties so fraudulently acquired with shareholders’ money – the aircraft and the monies. If actually these were recovered, they ought to be deposited with the NDIC and AMCON for onward transfer to the shareholders of the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc.
“This points to the fact that the much-touted fight against corruption by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is mere lip service and fallacy.
“You will recall how many ministers we have published their evidentially-supported corrupt practices and they are still sitting comfortably in the Federal Executive Council under the watchful eyes of Mr President.”