The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has once again indicted an Abuja based controversial ex banker, Mrs. Maimuna Aliyu.
In a new court application filed by one of the EFCC prosecutors, Mr. Ben Ikani against former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed and his son, Shamsuddeen, Mrs. Aliyu was alleged to have served as a proxy to the former Minister in unlawful acquisition of properties in and around Abuja while the Minister was in office.
According to a report published in the Punch online of September 15, 2017, the EFCC stated that both Mohammed and his son “have denied ownership and connection” to the properties.
But the commission maintained that “preliminary investigation has revealed that the properties listed on the schedule are unlawfully acquired through corrupt practices by the former minister and his son while in office as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.”
In its investigation the EFCC uncovered that some of the properties were said to have been procured through proxies and nominees of the former Minister.
In a fresh application, the EFCC had stated that “the crux of this application is that the respondents are being investigated for offences bordering on abuse of office, land scams, corruption and corrupt practices, money laundering and diversion of revenue of government while being the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
According to the EFCC, the properties were held in the names of different companies and one Maimuna S. Aliyu. The commission described Aliyu as Bala’s proxy allegedly used to acquire the houses at 1A and 2A of No. 7 Gana Street Maitama, Abuja.
It will be recalled that Mrs Aliyu has in the recent times, been embroiled in deep controversies.
The federal Government of Nigeria, in August, 2017, withdrew her nomination into the 14 member board of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) when it discovered that she was being investigated for corrupt practices by the EFCC.
On August 15, a three-count charge of abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds and criminal breach of trust was slammed against her by the ICPC.
In a report published on August 8, 2017 by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Aliyu — alongside Sa’ad Alanamu, another ICPC board appointee — were said to be under investigation by the commission for alleged corruption in the region of N1billion.
While Alanamu was being investigated on corruption charges allegedly committed when he headed several institutions in Kwara State, Aliyu has had a longstanding case of abuse of office, misappropriation and diversion of public funds against her.
Charges were already being prepared against her by the ICPC in preparation to taking her to court when her name was announced as a member of the new board of the commission, an action, the Federal Government has claimed was made in error.
In addition to the ICPC, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Police had investigated several corruption cases against Aliyu.
For example, in May, a police investigative report indicted her and recommended her for prosecution. The investigative report, dated May 31, 2017, and signed by Taiwo Oyewale, a Superintendent of Police, for the Deputy Commissioner of Police, IGP Monitoring Unit, said that Aliyu illegally converted to personal use a total of N58 million being proceeds of three plots of land belonging to her former employers, a top mortgage finance firm in Abuja.
The ICIR then confirmed that Aliyu made the new ICPC board in the first place because FG made the appointments without running security checks on the nominees. Defending herself, Aliyu was quoted to have claimed that allegations of corruption against her were false and that they were being orchestrated by corrupt persons she exposed while serving as a director at one of her former places of work.