25/01/2022

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EFCC frees Gen Boroh on bail, amidst media blackout

5 min read

PAUL BOROH

…successor raises alarm over shoddy handover note; ”that is a maze of words and figures that left many questions unanswered”.

Former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been released on bail by officials of the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Gen. Boroh, who is facing several allegations of financial misappropriation, was freed on the usual administrative bail, by the EFCC, last Friday, by the anti-graft agency, after several days of grilling.

He is to report periodically to the EFCC Investigators, who are handling his case, and is expected to be arraigned in court soon.

His successor, Professor Charles Dokubo, yesterday in Abuja, raised the alarm over the handover note from his predecessor, which he described “a maze of words and figures that left many questions unanswered”.

Investigations by GbaramatuVoice, revealed that Boroh was released seven days ago on an organized media blackout, as no media outlet has published his release, despite the fact that his sack and arrest was hugely publicized.

Boroh’s sack, investigation and arrest by the EFCC might not be unconnected to a petition, among others, that was sent to the president last August.

In the petition to Buhari dated August 21, 2017, an Ijaw interest group, Niger Deltans for Accountability and Good Governance, called for the removal of the Coordinator and some of his aides.

The group accused the Amnesty boss and his aides of monumental frauds running into billions of Naira.

The group in a statement signed by its Secretary, Timi Angalabiri, made a 17- point demand on the Federal government and, asked President Buhari to immediately expedite action on its demands, to halt the ongoing infractions in the Amnesty office.

The group alleged that based on numerous petitions of fraud, stealing and incompetence, it has submitted to the country’s investigating authorities against Gen. Boroh, his “Front-Persons” and aides, some on-going investigations by the anti- corruption agencies have indicted almost all of Gen. Boroh’s aides and hundreds of millions of Naira have been found and frozen in his aides’ bank accounts by the investigating agencies.

”He also applied and collected funds for the training of Amnesty Office Security Officials, but no training was done after he collected the funds, this has left the Security Officials infuriated.

More officials were accused of sleaze by the statement; ‘ Maj. Bernard Ocheche, Maj. Abdul and other close aides and associates of Gen. Boroh have almost all, been indicted for various financial infractions and they have variously refunded Hundreds of millions of Naira in stolen monies to the investigating authorities.

Allegations of diversion of funds also featured prominently in the group’s statement, as it claimed that the NSA to President Muhammadu Buahari has discovered a case of outright misinformation by the Amnesty Office, over claims of deception; ”the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd.) recently sent his investigators to the Niger Delta region to see if the Niger Delta Amnesty Office has farmlands, and other Agricultural structures in the Niger Delta region as Gen. Boroh frequently claimed, but to the investigators’ surprise, nothing was found, not even a single farm was owned by the Niger Delta Amnesty Office despite, the over N45 billion Gen. Boroh claimed to have spent on empowering Niger Delta Youths on Agriculture from 2015 to date.

Surprisingly, no mention was made of the phantom farm project, during Gen. Boroh’s questioning by the EFCC officials.

”This part of the allegations was left out during his questioning.” a usually reliable source inside the EFCC office told Gbaramatuvoice.

The NDDGG petition has called; “for a credible investigative inquiry to commence into the non-payment of tuition fees and living expenses of recently graduated Niger Delta students in universities across the United States, the United Kingdom and Nigeria, with many institutions withholding the students’ certificates due to the non-payment of tuition fees ranging from nine months to two years, despite receiving over N70 billion within this time frame”.

The group, asked President Buhari to sack Gen. Boroh and in his stead appoint a credible replacement.

The three year- tenure of the Bayelsa state -born Coordinator, was dogged by controversies and various allegations bordering on sleaze and apt ineptness.

Various allegations of diversion of funds running into billions of Naira meant for the scheme, to personal pockets and political ambition were leveled against the Coordinator and his Aides and a seeming lack of performance by the top officials of the presidential agency also whipped up massive angst against it by residents of the region.

Meanwhile, Boroh’s successor as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta, Prof Charles Dokubo, has described the handover note he received from his predecessor as “a maze of words and figures that left many questions unanswered.”

He said his resolve to make meaning out of the “scanty” handover note and redirect the course of the Amnesty Programme informed his decision to set up a Special Review Committee made up of four experts outside the Amnesty office and four senior officials that worked with his predecessor.

The members of the committee include Prof. Ayibaemi Spiff, Chief Otonye Amachree, Mr. Unyime Isong Eyo, Ms. Azizat Muhammed, the Director of Finance and Accounts, the Director of Procurement, Director of Administration and the Head of Audit.

Speaking  in Abuja at an interactive session with newsmen on Thursday, Dokubo said the committee, which was inaugurated before the media parley, is at liberty to not only dissect the handover note, but also has full authority and mandate to “take oral depositions or seek clarifications from any person or persons including current departmental heads.

He said: “I came into this office with a brief that is very scanty. I received the handover note of my predecessor and written briefs of departmental heads. I have, of course, taken my time to carefully go through the handover note and the departmental briefs. The documents contain a maze of words and figures.

“I dare say, however, that these documents left lots of questions unanswered. So I have set up a committee to give me a guide that would take the Amnesty Programme to a different level.

When GbaramatuVoice contacted the Head of Media for EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that the former PAP boss has been released on bail.

His word; “He has been released on administrative bail pending the conclusion of his case”.

By Brakerekebina Abai

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