While our brave soldiers are fighting and winning the war on terror and a few are sadly being killed on the front line, some senior officers are defying the President stance on corruption by corruptly enriching themselves with reckless impunity. Accordingly, a fresh racket managed by a serving military officer who launders several billions of Naira in the Nigerian Stock Exchange has been unraveled by the EFCC.
According to an EFCC Source, the anti-graft agency has been forced to open investigations into the stupendous fortunes of Umaru Mohammed (rtd), who was the Chairman of the defunct Presidential Committee on the lease of Federal Government properties, a position he held for 15 years.
Despite allegations of embezzlement in an August 2015 statement released by the Chief Press Secretary of Lagos State Mr. Habib Aruna on behalf of the State Government, Umaru Mohammed (rtd), was moved from the defunct Presidential Committee on the lease of Federal Government properties and appointed Managing Director of Nigeria Army Properties Limited by ex-Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah.
As Head of the Presidential Task Force, the said Umaru Mohammed (rtd), abused his position to corner hundreds of Federal Government properties in Lagos, Abuja, PH and later diverting government revenues to the tune of over 20 billion Naira to purchase shares in publicly quoted companies using AWHUA Resources, a company owned by himself under the alias ‘Malam Sheik Umaru Mohammed’ and his family.
The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper reported a story on March 11th 2016 of how this General colluded with the CEO of a new generation bank to hide two accounts with a value of over N6 billion Naira and $2.3 million from President Buhari’s move to consolidate Government revenue into the Treasury Single Account policy (TSA). The report further stated “there is strong suspicion that the funds were covertly hidden from the government as only the bank and members of the committee that had long wounded up operation were aware of its existence”.
General Mohammed is alleged to have invested in shares worth an estimated N20 billion in companies such as UAC, Okumo Oil, Vitafoam, Nahco Plc, Dangote Sugar, UBA and several others.
AWHUA Resources which is 80% owned by Umaru Mohammed (rtd), is a major player in the Nigerian Capital Market for several years. Brigadier Mohammed’s interests contravenes requirement of the Code of Conduct Bureau by not disclosing his holdings as a public officer, another crime being investigated by the EFCC. He is suspected of laundering Federal Government funds into private businesses and acting as a front for Late Azazi and several others which are only known to the investigators.
Our sources have obtained a letter addressed to one of the publicly quoted companies in the Nigeria Capital Market signed by Brigadier Umaru Mohammed introducing himself as Chairman of AWHUA Resources Limited and boasting that AWHUA owns 7.4% interest in the company with a total of one hundred and five million ordinary shares which is valued at over N2 billion Naira. The AWHUA letter goes further to state that; “at the helm of affairs is our Chairman, Mallam Umaru Mohammed, a senior serving officer, who is presently attached to the Presidency as Chairman Task Force of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Lease of Federal Government Landed property across the country.”
While requesting for a Board seat in several quoted companies for his nominee Captain Enyinna Okpara, the Chairman of AWHUA Umaru Mohammed (rtd), boasted that he is a senior serving officer with the Army. While some companies accepted his nominee, it is on record that the companies corporate Governance committee refused to accept Brigadier Mohammed’s nominee to the aboard insisting on proper due diligence to be carried by the Nigeria Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission and NFIU which led to a stalemate.
EFCC letters dated 19th October 2016 addressed to the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) and the Securities and Exchange Commission and another EFCC letter dated 24th October 2016 addressed to the Managing Director of Nahco Plc into the source of finances of Umaru Mohammed (rtd),, Captain Enyinna Okpara and AWHUA Resources indicates that the Commission has opened investigations into the corrupt General Mohammed, his company AWHUA Resources and his accomplice Enyinna Okpara in line with the powers conferred in the Commission by section 38 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and section 21 of the Money Laundering prohibition Act 2011 requesting that all investments held by these people and company should be held in caution until the completion of investigation into the source of their funds. The Commission goes on to freeze those investments and properties worth several billions across Nigeria. This is a tip of the iceberg as more assets are yet to be recovered.
Our EFCC source also reveals that the commission has frozen assets belonging to Brigadier Mohammed in banks across Nigeria while ongoing investigations extends to Dubai and other jurisdictions. These investigations if unmitigated will become one of the major success stories of the Magu led EFCC as several billions of Naira has either been frozen or is in the process of being frozen. However, it is surprising how Umaru Mohammed (rtd), has survived for several years despite several petitions from high ranking Nigerians, State Governments, serving and retired officials in the Army uncovered until the arrival of Magu. He is known to have been given the alias the evil spirit by his friends.
While investigation is ongoing, sources also confirm that the Army hierarchy under the no nonsense General Buratai is currently investigating Brigadier Mohammed and he will be handed to the EFCC any moment from now.
Efforts to reach Umaru Mohammed to get his side of the story proved abortive as his telephone number known to us refused to connect.