Falana wants EFCC to probe ‘diversion’ of state funds by Sanusi, Soludo, others

Femi Falana
Photo credits: Newsbreakers
Femi Falana Photo credits: Newsbreakers

A senior Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, to promptly investigate a range of dealings involving alleged diversion of public funds over the years by government establishments, including the central bank, under former governors, Chukwuma Soludo and Lamido Sanusi.

Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, had not taken steps to recover billions of dollars “either criminally diverted or illegally withheld” from government account.

He said the EFCC needed to act now given “the increasing pressures being mounted on the Federal Government by the parasitic faction of the ruling class to auction the remaining assets of the nation”.

The comment followed calls by businessman, Aliko Dangote, and the senate president, Bukola Saraki, for the government to sell national asset to stem recession.

Mr. Falana listed the following cases for investigation:

1. By a letter dated January 27, 2016 the National Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) disclosed to us that from five cycles of independent audit reports covering 1999-2012 it had confirmed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, some oil companies and certain agencies of the Federal Government had withheld $20.2 billion from the Federation Account. Despite repeated requests of some civil society organizations the Federal Government has refused to recover the said sum of $20.2 billion.

2. Sometime in 2006, former Central Bank Governor, Profesor Chukwuma Soludo removed $7 billion from the nation’s external reserves and doled it out to 14 Nigerian banks. Two years later, the Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (the current Emir of Kano) also gave a bailout of N600 billion to the same banks. The request of some civil society organisations for the recovery of the huge loan of $7 billion and N600 billion from the commercial banks has been ignored by the management of the Central Bank.

3. On September 6, 2016, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced that arrangements had been concluded to recover the sum of $9.6 billion in over-deducted tax benefits from joint venture partners on major capital projects and oil swap contracts. Although the NNPC has recovered the said sum of $9.6 billion, it has failed to remit same to the Federation Account without any legal justification.

4. In 2009, Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria Unlimited applied to the Federal Government for the renewal of three oil blocks. Upon granting the application, the NNPC asked Mobil to pay the sum of $2.5 billion for the renewal of the licenses. While Mobil made a part payment of $600 million it undertook to invest the outstanding sum of $1.9 billion in the energy sector. But as Mobil did not invest the said sum in the energy sector the Civil Society Network Against Corruption has requested the EFCC to investigate the fraudulent transaction.

5. From 1998-2014, the Federal Government successfully recovered over $4 billion from the Abacha loot. However, based on the refusal of the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to account for the recovered loot the Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) applied to the Federal High Court for an order of mandamus. Even though the Court granted the order the Federal Government has failed to account for the recovered loot. In the circumstances, we have submitted a petition to the EFCC to investigate the alleged criminal diversion of the recovered loot.

6. In the Appropriation Act, 2011, the sum of N245 billion was earmarked for fuel subsidy. In violation of the Act, the Central Bank of Nigeria headed by Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi paid the sum of N2.5 trillion to a cabal of fuel importers. Following our petition the EFCC conducted an investigation into the fraud but the exercise was compromised due to pressure from the former Jonathan administration. Even though the EFCC has charged some of the suspects to court the investigation ought to be reopened with a view to getting to the root of the monumental fraud.

Mr. Falana offered to “provide all relevant documents to facilitate your investigation of the serious economic and financial crimes disclosed in this petition”.

“In view of the foregoing we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to recover the aforesaid sums of money and proceed to prosecute the corporate bodies and individuals involved in the economic sabotage which has contributed to the nation’s economic recession,” he said.

Messrs. Soludo and Sanusi could not be immediately reached for comments.


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  • Alkali


    • ₦38.23billion developed legs and got missing in Central Bank under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
    • ₦160billion was taken by Sanusi Lamido at the Central Bank for self-determined spending.
    • ₦1.12billion was taken as spent by Sanusi Lamido on lunch for 12 CBN police guards
    in one year.
    • ₦1.12billion was taken in cash and entered in the account as paid to a non-operating airline
    for charter service.
    • ₦240billion was discretionally doled out at will as ‘donations’ by Sanusi Lamido.
    • ₦1.97billion was paid out in cash and entered on Central Bank accounts as “inexplicable
    expense” by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
    • ₦20billion was entered as paid out in cash as Legal Fees by Sanusi Lamido to persons
    • ₦3.086billion was taken by Sanusi Lamido and written off as expense ostensibly to promote
    Central Bank image.

    • M.Anini

      All Nigerians now suffer the severe consequence
      of heinous thefts of the treasury by the likes of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
      Bukola Saraki and Patience Jonathan who are under probe but with no indictments
      issued as yet because President Buhari has entered into immoral compromises to
      fetter the discretion of prompt law enforcement. The baleful effects of these thefts
      therefore linger with impunity, to make the Buhari regime look more like a criminal
      organization in secret pact with notorious treasury thieves who are kept away
      from the prison cell solely for Buhari’s (private) interest.

      As at today,
      one million Naira is worth only $2,200. That is red signal to international
      trade for ordinary Nigerians. With more reckless borrowing by President Buhari
      the Naira might depreciate to one thousand dollars to one million Naira. That
      stage is not too far away and will kick in once President Buhari is allowed to
      sell of income-generating assets like NNPC and Liquefied Natural Gas Company.
      A sale of those country assets will reduce Nigeria’s financial ability to pay off the
      20 billion dollars Buhari wants to borrow again before or by December 2016

      • konko below





        • Vextee343

          EDITOR SIR,

          From the Panama
          Papers uncovered by world’s best journalists, including from PREMIUM TIMES,
          financial documents were found in Panama linking Bukola Saraki to criminal
          moneylaundering of a whopping 65 million dollars in three separate accounts in
          euros, dollars and pound sterling. Where did Bukola Saraki get the 65 million
          dollars, if not by stealing, whilst working full time as PUBLIC SERVANT inside
          Nigeria, from 1999 till date, without a break?

          The idea of Bukola Saraki as Senate President
          is another defiling taboo lowering public morality. A man who lives in frauds,
          lies, dishonesty and deceit; without a sense of right and wrong, is a
          desecrator of public morality and should not be in the Senate.

          Let CHANGE begin by
          convicting Bukola Saraki and sentencing him to his deserving term of
          imprisonment. That’s the way Nigeria can be weaned of career criminals stashing
          tainted assets in a trove in Panama. Bukola Saraki has no home training in
          crisp ethics and has grown up as a clear and present danger to Nigeria.

          • Oliha Ekhime

            @abdulrahmanabdulyekeen:disqus : Even if he does not understand English it doesn’t matter. We’re not a university here. We are concerned citizens. Thieves are stealing our country in the afternoon. Thieves are buying Rolls Royce and driving it with all impunity. Some other thieves are even
            stealing Senate money. You come here to ask the person complaining to go and do degree
            in English language first before he can complain. You well at all? Can’t somebody complain
            in Urhobo or in Bachama language? Any complaint even in pidgin English is okay here!

        • Abdulrahman Abdulyekeen

          Pls go and learn English before you comment on national issues.

          • Obinna D.


          • Pastor J. J. Jones


            For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
            The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of those
            that seek death. There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked.

            Anyone who guards himself prudently will stay far from the crooked.
            Brethren, you shall not steal. Theft entails deceit; and in a heart where
            the spirit of deceit is, there, the spirit of God cannot be.”

          • Deedee 2000

            @abdulrahmanabdulyekeen:disqus: Are you criminal too? Somebody is giving us correct information
            to make our head correct in Nigeria and you are saying he can’t speak English. Is that the issue.
            He is telling us now that President Buhari has borrowed 2.2 trillion Naira so far and has spent it. Okay? Did you see any 2.2 trillion Naira spent in your own area? I did not see anything here.
            Where is the money? That is the issue. If care is not taken Buhari will steal us blind in Nigeria.

      • Private Eye

        The fraud of Bola Tinubu and Raji Fashola in Lagos state

        In the year 2012, Lagos state floated a bond for ₦87.5billion in November to be borrowed at 14.5%
        interest rate and then got public investors to subscribe for repayment with interest, but once the bond
        was fully subscribed, Raji Fashola took 40% of the money, about 35 billion Naira or so, and handed it
        over in cash to Bola Tinubu, via bogus corporate fronts, namely: (a) Lekki Concession Company,
        (b) ARM company, and, (c) Hitech company;
        in a fraudulent “buy-back deal” of a supposed
        concession right on the 15-kilometre Lekki Expressway.

        This patently corrupt deal was ostensibly to buy back Lagos state ‘concession rights’ on that Lekki tolled
        Expressway, according to the usually corrupt Raji Fashola. But what the dull and dishonest Raji Fashola
        did not say is that the Lekki land at issue belongs to Lagos state and was not sold to Bola Tinubu’s companies in the first place. Or did Bola Tinubu’s company invest any 35 billion Naira in expanding
        the road.

        In other words, by sheer fraud, Raji Fashola paid Bola Tinubu 25 years’ profit upfront in cash;
        without further work. A lien was then imposed on Lagos state allocation of federal revenue for
        the next three years to pay for this 87.5 billion Naira bond debt by all Lagos residents
        through taxes and levies.

        • S.O. Akin-Williams

          Bola Tinubu and Raji Fashola are financial criminals who must be made to account for Lagos’ funds. Both of them must be brought to justice for the sake of all that’s right in a republic.

        • omoeleniyan

          ……………..i refuse to suffer for any economic recession so long as Raji Fashola……….
          ………….is allowed to become a billionaire by stealing………and so long as Sanusi Lamido too….
          ….is allowed to steal and carry go……….there’s no way CHANGE CAN BEGIN WITH ME……

    • Foreign Reel

      “Toyin Ojora-Saraki, the wife of the president of the Nigerian Senate, is a business front for her husband,
      Bukola Saraki. According to documents retrieved from the Mossack Fonseca database, the assets in her
      name in tax havens are held in trust for Bukola (Saraki) Nigeria’s third most powerful official.

      Landfield International Developments, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands on April 8,
      2014, had Toyin Ojora-Saraki Saraki as sole shareholder. But it is apparent that she was a front,
      because Bukola Saraki has since discreetly taken over the company using Longmeadow
      Holdings, another shell company registered in Jersey.

      To effect the take-over, a board meeting of Landfield was purportedly held on January 28, 2015,
      where it was agreed that the company be sold to Bukola Saraki for more than £3-million.
      That same day, Toyin Ojora-Saraki wrote to Mossack Fonseca informing it that she was
      transferring the beneficial ownership of Landfield to Bukola Saraki and his company.”

      …………..Mail & Guardian

      [April 22nd, 2016]

    • Mathew Anini

      President Muhamadu Buhari has borrowed 2.2 trillion Naira debt since he
      resumed office. The Punch newspaper is reporting the news today from the DEBT
      OFFICE. With this borrow-and-spend mentality of President Muhamadu Buhari, it
      is clear to me that Nigeria is in trouble and President Buhari is a clear and
      present danger to Nigeria’s finances. It is bad to saddle innocent Nigerians
      with debts after increasing electricity tariff by 45% in March; and, after
      devaluing the Naira and increasing pump price of petrol by 60% plus,
      to replenish the treasury stolen by people like Sanusi Lamido.

      • Omoroyo



    • Mekus

      @disqus_d5oQY5RT79:disqus :

      This thing I am reading here is like CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is to convince me
      that he is a human being. I don’t believe that he is a human being. For me to believe anything he must
      remove his Emir dress, remove singlet, and remove pant, and turn back, for me to be sure he doesn’t
      have a tail joining his buttocks. No real human being can do this stealing to his own country. Haba!

  • Sir Louis

    Thank you, Mr. Falana. The facts speak for themselves. If the Buhari administration is indeed committed to fighting and uprooting corruption and mismanagement in our country as well as revitalising the comatose economy, it should immediately commence the process of recovering these diverted public monies, and bring the perpetrators, Sanusi, Soludo and others, as well as the erring banks to book.If at least half of the funds mentioned in this article are recovered, there would be no need to embark on another prodigal and criminal auctioning of the nations’ strategic economic assets as being canvassed by those who wish to buy same albeit with stolen money.

  • Rick Eson

    No need to sell off the public asset. Call by Dagote and SanusI should be ignore. FG you have the facts, time to act. EFCC must act on these revelation By our most honourable citizen.

  • Osakue

    No be today some people for government mostly permanent secretaries done dey carry money that’s why they are all dying sudden death contiune to die theives in the name of Jah Oles

  • Dazmillion

    Let nobody be deceived, Buhari’s war against corruption died last june 2016 when he refused to investigate Buratai and Dambuzai. The latest corruption allegation involves Buhari’s chief of staff. Buhari will play dumb on this list of diverted funds listed by Falana

  • CEO

    it will be quite interesting to see how the Buhari government goes about this probe. Let us wait to see first the reactions of the propagandists-in- chief, Garba Shehu and Lai Mohammed. As for Magu, since he wasn’t the one that took this to the press, we hope his legs have not been chopped off from the knees by “Mr. know all and adviser extraordinaire to Buhari,” Femi Falana. Hmmm something is brewing here. It sounds like someone has been shortchanged. It appears more info may be on the way. Stay tuned.

    • Cassandra


      It is only to be expected that assassination of politicians will begin in Nigeria.
      The situation in the country has been worsened by very wicked treasury thefts.
      Those hard done by will soon begin to seek out all official thieves for mass killing.
      There’s no other plausible prognosis for catharsis in a country so badly stolen away.
      Nigerians have already acquired the weapons and got the anger to clean up Nigeria.

    • S


  • Buhari doesn’t have the luxury of corruption campaign limited to the PDP. There cannot be sacred cows in this campaign. These probes must be broad-based to be credible. So far what we have are selective and vindictive probes of the political opposition. Sanusi, Soludo, OBJ, Amechi and many others shouldn’t escape these probes to save our nation.

    • Celestine Agwu


      ……..Excuse me my people…I no know book O…..i just want to give you my own idea……..
      since Raji Fashola cannot do anything good in his life….and supplies zero megawatts……
      …to put Nigeria in permanent darkness….why don’t we sell Raji Fashola to raise money…..
      …………and use it to pay a more sensible Minister that can take us out of this dark ages?……….
      That will be like privatization of government……but we don’t need to sell all the cabinet O………

      • Riltin

        Lolz. You makes a hell lot of sense.

    • ???asking questions


      • It will not happen…..

        • Otile

          Why do you say it will not happen, is he not seeking emergency powers to sell any asset or selectively prosecute anybody he wants to? Feudalism is back.

          • We’ll probe Buhari after 2019. Nigerian Assets Sale or not.

  • holy moss

    “The comment followed calls by businessman, Aliko Dangote, and the senate
    president, Bukola Saraki, for the government to sell national asset to
    stem recession.” Una dey listen so? Dem want sell national asset o. That is scary o. Depriving us, Nigerians, of our heritage just for the sons of a few Nigerians like Aliko Dangote and Bukola Saraki to soon own the whole Nigeria.