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N70m Fraud: anxiety in FAAN as committee report due out

THE committee set up to investigate the N70 million allegedly diverted under the pretext of furniture allowances between 2013 and 2016 by a level grade 6 officer of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Christy Olabode,  is expected to submit its findings to the management soon.

A source who divulged this information to Nigerianflightdeck.com said that once the report is done, a copy would be sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.

The committee was formed three months ago after the fraud was detected, however our sources have told Nigerianflightdeck.com that there was a leadership change in the committee which has increased fears that the report might have been influenced to cover up for senior officials if any in FAAN.

The source alleged that the pioneer chairman, one O. Oduwole, who currently works in the medical department of FAAN was removed by the agency’s managing Director, Mr. Saleh Dunoma for reasons connected to the outcome of the report.

Mr. Oduwole was allegedly replaced by the General Manager of Human Resources in the same agency, Mr. Sanni.

The source said, “The committee has finished its findings on the diversion of a level 6 officer in the agency. It’s really a shame that a level 6 officer could divert so much.

“However, some of those in the system are not comfortable with the removal of Dr. Oduwole, who we all know is very firm on anything involving corrupt practices. The reason for his removal is not made known by the management and immediately he was removed, the GM Human Resources, Mr. Sanni, was brought in to replace him. To us, Sanni can easily be manipulated by the management, but we are waiting for the outcome of the report, which is likely to be this Friday or early next week,” the source disclosed.

It was also gathered that the major suspect, Ms. Olabode, has been visiting the EFCC office in Abuja every Wednesday to further assist the commission with its investigation on the matter.

Her co-conspirators in the crime, Abdul-Shehu Obaze, a staff at the Commercial Department of the FAAN in Ilorin, Kwara State, and her brother, are still being held by the EFCC

The source added that FAAN management is expected to immediately give a copy of the report to the EFCC in order to continue with their investigations.

Four months ago, Ms. Olabode of the Account Department had allegedly connived with some top management staff in the FAAN to consistently divert furniture allowances meant for staff for over three years.

Investigations revealed that Ms. Olabode also used the names of deceased FAAN staff, retirees, cronies and family members to regularly draw funds from the coffers of the agency. The fraud was detected by the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Department in the FAAN.

Recall that during investigation, the EFCC invited and collected Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of top management staff’s including Director of Administration, Ikechi Uko, Director of Operations, Henry Omeogu, Director of Human Resources, Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma, and Director of Maintenance and Engineering, Olufemi Ogunode.

Also invited to Abuja by EFCC was the Head of Audit in the FAAN, one Mr. Njoku.

Mr. Obaze  one of the suspects had allegedly confessed that he was sending N2.5 million monthly to one of the top management staff in the agency in the past year from the money stolen.

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Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.

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