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$4.6m fraud: FG clears Adeniji, orders probe

Posted by By Onyedi Ojiabor and Ihuoma Chiedozie, Abuja on 2006/07/10 | Views: 859 |

$4.6m fraud: FG clears Adeniji, orders probe


The Federal Government on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the $4.6 million fraud uncovered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.....

The Federal Government on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the $4.6 million fraud uncovered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It, however, absolved the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Olu Adeniji, of any complicity in the fraud.

The order for the probe was contained in a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette.

Our correspondent, however, gathered that to pave the way for the probe, the government has redeployed the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ambassador N.U.O Wadibia-Anyanwu.

Wadibia-Anyanwu’s redeployment, to the Public Service Office under the Office of the Head of Civil Service(HOS) of the Federation, was announced in a circular by the HOS, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed.

The circular also announced the redeployment of four other permanent secretaries.

Others redeployed are Dr. Aboki Zhawa, who moved from the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to the Ministry of Education; Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed moved from the Ministry of of Works to replace Wadibia-Anyanwu while Alhaji Nu’uman Danbatta would leave the Ministry of Education for the Ministry of Works.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, is Dr. Lami Hamza, who was redeployed from the Salaries and Wages Commission.

A source said Adeniji had reported the statement credited to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, about the alleged fraud to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The statement said "...her reference to the $4.6 million transfer to an international organisation, namely the International Sea-bed Authority, has been mischievously publicised to imply a cover-up in the ministry until she discovered it.

"This is incorrect. Nevertheless, it has unfortunately been made to reflect negatively on the conduct and integrity of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olu Adeniji."

Ekaette said the fact of the matter was that the sum of $4.6 million was in March, 2006 sent to the International Sea-bed Authority by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs instead of $22,000.

He said the Head of the authority alerted the Nigeria‘s High Commissioner in Jamaica of the excessive amount sent to the authority and the high commissioner alerted the then Minister of Foreign Affairs (Adeniji) and the President.

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