The Presidency on the 2nd day of August 2017 announced the names of nominees to the Board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC)
Hours after the list of the nominees were made public; protests by some interest groups went viral on the social media alleging that two of the nominees – Sa’ad Alanamu and Maimuna Aliyu into the ICPC Board ought not to be nominated to serve in the Board of the ICPC as they were purportedly being investigated by the Commission for corrupt practices.
Subsequently the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo “stepped down” the nomination of the two nominees protested against.
Maimuna Aliyu had issued press releases in her defence. While pointedly denying the allegations and dismissing them to be untrue, she counterclaimed that the false allegations were orchestrated by some persons in Aso Savings & Loans where she last worked as an Executive Director. She claims that she had exposed the corrupt practices of these persons and had filed petitions against them at both the EFCC and other agencies.
The first evidence the traducers of Maimuna Aliyu posted in the Social media, particularly in online news sites was a Police investigation report that purportedly indicted Aliyu and recommended her prosecution. That said report has since been rubbished by Maimuna who claims it was merely concocted and forged to enable her adversaries achieve their evil plans. In the light of this, she has petitioned the Inspector General to cause a review and investigation into how the false report signed by SP Taiwo Oyewale of the IG Monitoring Unit came to be. In the said petition she raised a few posers that ignite curiosity:
The report has no file nor volume number as is normal with such reports
This is a report of a matter purportedly investigated in 2015 but now dated May 2017.
The report was addressed to the MD of Aso Savings and not the appropriate Police Officer.
The report recommended that I be prosecuted. Where lies the prosecution powers in a criminal matter investigated by the Police.
To specifically respond to the claims in the report and other publications in the social media, she stated:
“ 1. It is true that Aso Savings & Loans put up for sale some plots of land in Jahi, Abuja to close the gap in her liquidity owing to huge sums of money she donated to fund a Presidential Candidate in 2011 Presidential election.
It is also true that as at the time when these assets (3 plots of land) were put up for sale by Aso Savings and Loans, I was the Executive Director in charge of marketing in the bank and so was involved in marketing of the sales which was effectively consummated through some middle man.
It is incorrect to allege that the sales transaction was sealed in my office and proceeds were NEVER remitted to the banks coffers. The buyers of the property were not only handed the security documents which hitherto was in custody of the bank, but were also given an authority letter that enabled him effectively transfer legal title to the buyer.
It is worthy to note that by 2013 when I voluntarily resigned from the Board of the bank, the transaction involving the said three plots of land in Jahi had been concluded, my resignation accepted and no allegation was upon me. The Bank continued sales of other plots which had nothing to do with me thereafter.”
She stated further:
“ASO Savings & Loans Petitioned the Nigeria Police in December 2015 against me in what it captioned “CASE OF CONSPIRACY, FRAUDULENT DIVERSION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE”. This matter was thoroughly investigated and I was not found culpable. The Police Investigating Team (IG Monitoring Unit) was led by SP Taiwo Oyewale.
Dissatisfied with the report of the Police Investigation, the bank in July 2016 took yet another petition to the same IG monitoring Team and another ICPC on the same facts.
If the report published to deny Maimuna the nomination was true, and based on 2015 petition by Aso savings, one wonders why the bank took another petition against Maimuna on same facts in 2016.
The strongest point made by the presidency in standing down Maimuna’s nomination was that they have confirmed she was being investigated by the ICPC. There was no report available to the reading public to show the said investigation, what she was being investigated on and culpability etc.
A check at the ICPC reveals that in the course of investigation in 2016, it found that the facts relating to the petition was purely civil commercial transaction which was already a subject matter of a suit in court. Consequently, parties were advised to either explore out of court settlement or return to court. The suit is still in court till date.
We have a letter addressed to the Chairman of ICPC from the Law Firm of Adetutu Aderemi & Co – who are solicitors to one Mr. Vincent Mshelia, the buyer of the controversial Jahi land. The letter raises a lot of questions on what ASO Savings & Loans were truly after. The bank had in their petition to ICPC alleged that Maimuna abused her office by disposing of the lands in Jahi and not remitting the funds to the bank, but this letter reveal that not only have the lands been paid for, but that the title deeds have been released to the buyers.
Aso Savings also by a letter dated 14th August 2017 and addressed to The Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the CBN confirmed that they had settled all issues relating to and connected with Jahi properties and transferred title to buyers.
The allegations against Maimuna were painted so badly that it has now cost her the nomination into the ICPC and as soon as this is confirmed, her accusers now issue letters stating that the matter has been settled.
Who is actually behind this? Could recent developments be as a result of a fait accompli on the part of her adversaries? What does this say about our War against corruption in Nigeria? Would Federal Government revisit the Nominations that were stepped down? Nigerians are watching.
Chuks Okonkwo Esq, a Legal Practitioner sent in this piece.