How Salihijo Ahmad, Managing Director Of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency, Used Mother’s Name To Open Bank Account Allegedly Used To Divert Millions Of Naira
The stock of scandals rocking the Rural Electrification Agency’s Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, seems inexhaustible, SaharaReporters has reported.
Ahmad has also been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged money laundering and breach of public procurement act, while he is also to appear before the Code of Conduct Bureau Tribunal for alleged violation of Public Service Rule with regard to alleged failure to resign his Directorship in Velocity Logistics, a claim he had denied.
Report by SaharaReporters last Friday stated that the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the REA was enmeshed in a contract fraud as he awarded his own company a N200 million job.
Recently Ahmad also made headlines for operating 37 bank accounts, with all linked to his Bank Verification Number, 2226642****.
SaharaReporters had also reported that on the back of the revelation, a civil society organisation, the Fight Against Corruption Network, FACN, called on the anti-graft agencies to investigate and prosecute the REA boss through a statement issued by its Executive Director, Ayoola Bakare.
“Ahmad has two in Standard Chartered Bank with the account name, Needle Technology, and five in GTBank in the same name, while in his personal name, with variations in the order of the three names, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, he has six with GTBANK, four with First Bank, one with UBA, three with Fidelity, one in Stanbic IBTC with the account name, Salihijo Ahmad Foundation.
“Others in his name are one in Jaiz Bank, two at Access Bank, four at First Bank and two at Eco Bank. Some of the accounts have just two names of the operator. Also found linked to the REA MD’s BVN are two GTBANK accounts of a non-governmental organisation, Flexisaf Foundation, two in Jaiz Bank with name, Flexisaf Edusoft Ltd, another, Velocity Group Ltd in Keystone Bank, one En Consulting and Projects Ltd in First Bank.
“The others are two under the name of his wife, Bilikisu Ahmad Salihijo domiciled in Zenith Bank and Jaiz Bank with all the aforementioned accounts criminally opened with different dates of birth of the operator: October 20, 1983, July 27, 2009, January 1, 1989, May 3, 2012, January 29, 2015, August 24, 1985, March 30, 2004 among others,” Bakare had written.
However, contrary to earlier report that one of the account names is that of Ahmad’s wife, a source dislosed to SaharaReporters on Monday that the said account name, Bilikisu Ahmad Salihijo, was his mother’s name.
The source added that the REA boss’ mother is a Director in the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, an agency under Federal Ministry of Education.
Also incorrect is the report that the accounts with the said name, and linked to the embattled REA MD’s BVN are one.
“The accounts with her name but belonging to Ahmad are two; one with Zenith Bank with account name: Bilikisu Ahmad Salihijo, while the other account name is, Salihijo Bilikisu and is domiciled in Jaiz Bank,” the source said.
Meanwhile a petition against the subject and four other private companies’ Directors has been obtained by SaharaReporters.
The petitioner, Donnington Nigeria Limited in the petition addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, claimed Ahmad in his capacity as Director of Velocity Logistics, Alkali Habib, as that of Winslow Logistics Nigeria Limited and three other Directors of the five companies awarded the Cargo Tracking contract by the federal government, are in breach of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, and also violated the public procurement law.
The three other companies and their Directors are: Antasar Nigeria Limited (Innocent Nwobodo), Equal Logistics Limited(Edwin Iyk Anyadigibe) and Sahams Crystal Investment(Abdulmumini Haruna).
Donnington in the petition authored and signed by its lawyer, R.O Atabo(SAN), said the five Directors and their companies, among other infractions, failed to abide with the law establishing the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML, in respect of Section 11(1) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 that mandates individuals and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions to report their cash inflows and outflows in excess of N5m and N10m respectively to SCUML, a unit under the EFCC since starting operations.
It therefore, charged the anti-graft agency to investigate the companies and their Directors for act of concealing or disguising the origins of illegally obtained proceeds and breaching the procurement law.
“Consequent upon the foregoing, we humbly request you use your good offices to investigate the breach of procurement laws and the inherent fraud in frustrating the good initiative of the EFCC and the Office of the Attorney-General in respect of the Cargo Declaration and Cargo Tracking Note regime.
“We also believe that the five companies are Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions and might be in breach of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and its successor, the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2022. We therefore request that the investigation should include an off-site and on-site investigation of the companies by the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering,” it reads in part.
The petitioner in the petition entitled, “Economic Sabotage of the Advanced Cargo Declaration and Cargo Tracking Note Regime as Well as Truncating the Initiative of the EFCC on the same issue by Antaser, Winslow, Equal, Velocity, Sahams Crystal” acquainted the EFCC with the genesis of the matter, saying it proposed the reintroduction of the Cargo Tracking Scheme to the Nigerian government, with the company to carry it out in partnership with a United Kingdom company, Messrs. Vortex Limited, and secured presidential approval, after which the Bureau of Public Procurement denied it Certificate of No-Objection on allegedly no grounds in defiance of the Attorney-General, who reportedly wrote letters to appropriate quarters on its engagement by the Nigerian government with regard to the Cargo Tracking contract.