Posted by By Yusuf Alli on
The Chairman of Globacom Limited, Chief Mike Adenuga, was on Monday arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission....
The Chairman of Globacom Limited, Chief Mike Adenuga, was on Monday arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Investigations by our correspondent showed that about 70 riot policemen assisted the operatives in arresting Adenuga at his residence in Lagos.
A source said the arrest of the business mogul took a dramatic twist as there was a sudden outage at Adenugaís mansion when the EFCC team arrived in the early hours of Monday.
The source, however, claimed that the commissionís operatives defied the outage to effect the businessmanís arrest.
He also said that one of the gates of the mansion was allegedly destroyed in the process.
The source added that the commission had been on the trail of Adenuga in the past few months.
It was learnt that Adenuga was later taken to the EFCCís office at 15, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, for preliminary interrogation at the commissionís New Conference Hall.
But at about 1pm on Monday, the EFCC decided to detain the businessman and relocated him to its annex at 7, Okotie Eboh Street, Ikoyi.
There was a strong indication on Monday night that Adenuga might be transferred to Abuja for what a source described as a "comprehensive interaction with the EFCC investigators."
It could not be immediately ascertained why Adenuga was picked up.
Adenuga presides over a conglomerate of firms, including Consolidated Oil (an offshore company); Conoil and Equitorial Trust Bank.
It was uncertain which of the investments led to the arrest of the businessman.
As at press time, a source in the EFCC said that Adenuga was being held in connection with alleged evasion of Petroleum Profit Tax.
He could not give further details.
All oil companies are expected to pay PPT to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Another source said the businessmanís arrest had to do with the National Automative Fund deposited in his bank.
He said, "This is the second time he will be arrested. He was arrested in December 2005 but nothing was found against him.
But the EFCC source merely said, "It is too early to make any pronouncement on why Adenuga was arrested. But at the appropriate time, there will be a press release from the commission.
"We are still interacting with Adenuga. That is all I can tell you."
When contacted, none of the public affairs managers of the firms owned by Adenuga was willing to react to the travails of their boss.
The spokesman of the EFCC, Mr. Osita Nwajah, could not be reached between 2pm and 10.30pm when the PUNCH went to bed.
The arrest of Adenuga, however, caused a major upset in the organised private sector, giving rise to speculations.
Some of the aides and associates of Adenuga alleged that his detention was politically motivated.
A source in the camp said, "I believe the detention has to do with the failed third term project. Some of his business colleagues felt that he was not keen on the agenda.
"At a point, some stakeholders in Transcorp were uncomfortable that he made a proposal that the nationís business community should consider Plan B when it was evident that the third term project would fail.
"I think some people in the corridors of power thought Adenuga did not whole heartedly support the third term bid because he preferred some presidential aspirants."
Adenuga is believed to be close to former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, and the Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
A source in the Presidency confirmed last night that business associates and friends of Adenuga were desperately trying to reach President Olusegun Obasanjo over the matter.
They, however, could not have audience with the President, who is on a two-day visit to Kwara State.
It was learnt that the affected associates might meet with the President on Tuesday in Abuja.