The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the Managing Director of Stallion Group, Harprrie Singh, for allegedly making N1.3billion ‘questionable payment’ to a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
The Nigerian conglomerate, owned by the Vaswani brothers, is one of the major companies currently being questioned by the EFCC as part of the ongoing investigation into the messy arm procurement scandal in the office of a former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
A source at the Commission disclosed that Stallion’s name cropped up when investigators scrutinizing transactions carried out by the former NSA with Jabbama Company, a bureau de change operator, stumbled on evidence that Stallion Group also paid N1.375billion to the company, although N100million of the money was later returned, leaving a balance of N1.275billion.
Investigation further revealed that Jabbama converted the money into United States Dollars ($114,750,000) and handed it to Mr. Yuguda, former minister of state for finance, who is already being prosecuted on multiple charges of fraud and money laundering.
Mr. Yuguda was said to have explained to EFCC interrogators that the N1.175billion received from the Stallion Group was at the instance of former NSA, Dasuki, for political purposes.
In the statement he volunteered to interrogators, EFCC sources said, Mr. Singh claimed his company had a $170million contract with the ONSA to supply some vehicles and that, he had already supplied the first batch of 50 vehicles since November 2014 for which he was yet to be paid.
Additionally, he confessed that the money he gave to Mr. Yuguda was at the request of both Messrs Dasuki and Yuguda, to support their party.
Detectives at the EFCC say they are trying to understand why a corporate organisation would, instead of making donation to any political cause through the relevant political parties, route the fund through the NSA.
They are also trying to understand whether the money was an inducement for a contract awarded to the company by the NSA.