By JAMES EZEMA
On Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered and seized cash in various currencies, including $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m from a flat in an Ikoyi residential apartment, Osborne Towers, located at 16 Osborne Road, Ikoyi in Lagos, Nigeria.
Media reports revealed that the cash belongs to the former Governor of Bauchi State from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu.
However, the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied the reports shortly after the reports were published.
However, MUazu failed to explain why the construction firm that built the house listed his name as a client.
But sources with knowledge of the raid had linked the funds were seized cash was recovered after a whistleblower in Abuja leaked its existence.
However, EFCC sources said that the apartment where the money was found allegedly belongs to Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, a managing director at the NNPC in charge of retail, under whose watch millions of litres of petrol belonging to the NNPC disappeared.
The products were allegedly stored at tank farms operated by Capital Oil and Gas Limited and MRS Oil in Apapa, Lagos but Mrs. Nnamdi-Ogbue is believed to have been forcefully retired from the corporation on Tuesday alongside at least two others over the scandal.
She previously served as managing director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), a subsidiary and cash cow of the NNPC.
The EFCC in a statement had said: “The whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government is paying off positively as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today stormed a residential building in the 7th Floor of a four – bedroom apartment at Osborne Towers located at 16, Osborne road Ikoyi, Lagos, where a humongous find of foreign currencies and Naira notes to the tune of $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m was uncovered.
“The operation followed a whistle blower’s confidential alert received by the Commission’s Lagos office this morning regarding some noticed suspicious movement of bags in and out of a particular apartment in the building. According to the source, the movers of the bags, make believe that they bring in bags of clothes.”
Another source who is conversant with the apartment of interest indicated that some woman usually appeared on different occasion with Ghana Must Go bags.
“She comes looking haggard, with dirty clothes but her skin didn’t quite match her outward appearance, perhaps a disguise”, the source said.
“On getting to the building, operatives met the entrance door locked. Inquiries from the guards at the gate explained that nobody resides in the apartment, but some persons come in and out once in a while. In compliance with the magisterial order contained in the warrant, the EFCC used minimum force to gain entrance into the apartment.
“Monies were found in two of the four bedroom apartment. Further probe of the wardrobe by operatives in one of the rooms, was found to be warehousing three fire proof cabinets disguisedly hidden behind wooden panels of the wardrobe.
“Upon assessing the content of the cabinets, neatly arranged US Dollars, Pound Sterling and some Naira notes in sealed wrappers.
“Preliminary findings indicate that the funds are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
“The facility is said to be owned by Osborne Towers Resident Association.
“Investigations are ongoing”, the EFCC said.
However, the real owners of the stashed but seized cash may not be known yet.