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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a female Level 06 official in the Accounts department of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Christy Olabode, for an alleged fraud to the tune of N100 million.
Also nabbed was her younger brother, Abdul-Shehu Obaze, a personnel in the Commercial department of FAAN in Ilorin, Kwara State and Mr. Dominic Ojo, an IT officer at the headquarters in Lagos.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said Christy’s arrest followed an anonymous petition, which indicated that she allegedly diverted the money by including the names of non-FAAN workers in the payroll.
The statement said: “She allegedly conspired with Obaze to perpetrate the fraud. Obaze was found to have maintained not fewer than eight accounts in seven new generation banks, which were used to receive the funds for distribution to high ranking officers in FAAN.
“The funds were being paid into his bank accounts with the narrative, ‘Furniture Allowance’. However, while allowance for FAAN’s furniture is usually paid once in three years, Obaze received the ‘allowance’ several times within a year.
“Investigations carried out by the EFCC showed that the fraud had been on since 2013. It unearthed a payroll with names of many dead, retired and disengaged workers of FAAN listed against Obaze’s bank accounts.
“Upon interrogation, Obaze, a Level 09 officer, confessed that other FAAN officials were involved in the fraud, including Mrs. Olabode’s husband, who works in the Human Resources department of FAAN.
“Olabode and Ojo enjoy administrative bail, while Obaze remains in EFCC’s custody. They will be arraigned as soon as investigations are concluded.
EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu has urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to support the anti-graft agency’s efforts to rid the country of economic and financial crimes.
He said: “All hands must be on deck to support the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari because everybody is a stakeholder.”
Magu spoke during a visit by a delegation of the NOA, led by the Director-General, Dr. Garba Abari, to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja.
Abari sought collaboration between both agencies.
Citing the need to strengthen sensitisation strategies, he said it was essential to “resist corruption, stigmatise corrupt practices and develop a citizen-led campaign against corrupt practices.”
Abari said: “I sympathise with you, as the job is gargantuan. Institutional corruption is very difficult to fight.”
Urging the EFCC to “take advantage of the NOA’s robust structure”, he said it was important for the anti-graft agency to utilise NOA’s “considerable presence in every state and local government.”
“Our two agencies have been shaking hands, but under my leadership, I want us to hug; I want us to work much more closely,” Abari added.
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Magu assured the NOA boss of the agency’s support.
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