EFCC Declares Ngozi Olojeme Wanted Jonathan’s Finance Coordinator Over $48m Fraud:
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has declared wanted, Dr Ngozi Olojeme .the Deputy Chairman, Finance Committee of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation in 2015.
This is after the anti-graft agency obtained an order from a court to declare her wanted.
Olojeme, who served as the Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, from 2009 until she was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, was accused of diverting $48,485,127 from the social insurance scheme designed to provide compensation to employees who suffer from occupational accidents or diseases in the line of duty.
The accused and some directors in the company were said to have siphoned billions of naira, including funds meant for the payment of allowances of its staff as well as compensation to contributors.
Upon her removal by the present government, a petition was written to the EFCC alleging that over N50bn from the Employee Compensation Scheme fund, paid by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and private companies as well as another N18bn, being the contribution of the Federal Government as take-off grant to the NSITF, were mismanaged and diverted into the personal accounts of Olojeme and a former Managing Director of the NSITF, Umar Abubakar
It was learnt that several directors and contractors were invited to explain their own side of the story, many of whom had since returned funds to the EFCC.
An EFCC report, made available to newsmen alleged that the funds were said to have been traced to the accounts of some consultants and contractors, who were believed to be fronts for Olojeme and other directors in the NSITF.
The anti-graft agency report said, “It was discovered that the NSITF accounts in First Bank of Nigeria and other banks have witnessed a total turnover of over N62,358,401,927 between 2012 and 2015 from the Employee Compensation Scheme contributions.
“That out of the N62bn, the Federal Government contributed N13,600,000,000 while the sum of N48,758,401,927.80 was contributed by the private sector. That there were several payments to individuals and companies from the NSITF bank accounts for purported contracts or consultancy services.
“That some individuals and companies that received these payments, in turn, transferred part of the monies directly to the NSITF officials while others transferred huge sums to bureau de change operators who changed them to dollars.”
The report also said that Olojeme sent her account officer at FBN to collect $48m from some NSITF contractors through a BDC operator.
It stated, “That through this process, Dr. Ngozi Olojeme, the then NSITF board chairman, has collected a total sum of $48,485,127 from Mr. Chuka Eze (her account officer at FBN), which cash he collected on her behalf being the dollar equivalent of monies paid to BDCs by NSITF contractors.
“That she has refused to honour invitation and all efforts to get her to come and tell her own side of the story have proved abortive hence her arrest warrant has been obtained from court.
“We ask for the EFCC chairman’s approval to declare the suspect wanted.”
Confirming the development, the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, stated that Olojeme had been declared wanted and urged members of the public to offer information that could lead to her arrest.
“Yes, she has been declared wanted. Members of the public are advised to give us information that would lead to her arrest,” he said.