UPDATED: EFCC arrests former Senate President Pius Anyim

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim

A former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.

A source at the EFCC told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Anyim, who also served as Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, was invited on Friday and was still at the commission’s office in Abuja as at press time.

Mr. Anyim is being questioned for his role in the alleged mismanagement of ecological fund while in office as SGF, among other matters, our source said.

ECOLOGICAL FUND SHORTFALL

While serving as SGF in 2012, Mr. Anyim was linked to shortfalls of about N396 billion in the Ecological Funds deductions.

Subsequently, he was invited by the Senate Committee on Special Duties and House Committee on Environment to provide details of how money for the Ecological Fund office was spent but he never showed up in any of the committees.

The report by the house committee reads, “the Statement of Affairs presented by the Accountant General indicates that 1.46 percent was used in calculating inflows into the fund from January 2003 to December 2003.”

This according to the statement was later reviewed downward to 1 percent from January 2004 to June 2012, in complete violation of the provision of the Federation Account Act which provides for 2 percent.

The report also notes N93.8 billion was transferred from the Ecological Fund Account to Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) and Federation Account to fund the acceleration of capital budget advances to states and local governments to meet shortfalls and funding of 2009 as well as Third Quarter Development Funds Warrant etc.

The House report said of the amount, only N50 billion was paid back leaving a shortfall of N43.7 billion unpaid.

“The submissions under review also indicated that a total loan of N60,750,000,000.00 was taken from the Ecological Fund Account by both the Federal and State Governments for purposes not related to Ecological problems,” the report also stated. Of this loan, only N30.5 billion was repaid, the report states.

The failure of Mr. Anyim and the then Environment Minister, Hadiza Mailafia, to appear before the Senate committee halted further probe into how the funds were being spent.

THE CENTENARY PROJECT PROBE

The arrest of the former SGF is also believed to be linked to his alleged involvement in fraud in the execution of the multi-billion dollars Centenary City Project.

The Centenary City Project was initiated by former President Jonathan to mark the 100 years of amalgamation of Nigeria’s Southern and Northern protectorate by Britain.

Mr. Anyim was alleged to own about 3, 000 acres of land at the centenary city.

In February, Mr. Anyim had appeared before the House of Representatives to answer questions on why the 1, 267 hectares project was owned by two companies, Basic Start Limited and Company First Limited.

After a heated argument at the floor of the House of Representatives, he walked out on the lawmakers after rejecting Herman Hembe chairman of the hearing.

The centenary city, estimated to cost $18.3 billion, was supposed to be a private project, but was later discovered to have been diverted for personal gains, the House committee said in its report.

The report indicted Mr. Anyim and recommended that he alongside a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; and two directors of the centenary city, Paul Oki and Boma Ozobia, be investigated by anti-graft agencies.

The chamber’s prayer was in upheld in September when an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court dismissed an application seeking the nullification of the report.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba said the arguments of the plaintiff that they were not given the right of fair hearing lacked merit, and was not reason enough to dismiss the findings of the report.

Also, a former deputy national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Cairo Ojougboh, in 2015 demanded the investigation of Mr. Anyim over his alleged roles in the creation of the centenary city, in 2014.

According to a petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Ojougboh said Nigeria had no equity in the project, alleging that Mr. Anyim owned the 3000 acres of land used for the execution of the said project.

Efforts to reach Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesperson, were unsuccessful as at the time of this report.


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  • Wilfred Bankole Ademokun

    Over due, another big fish.

    • victoria

      Jon – is a confused commentator please people ignore his comment

  • Jon

    See another big fish below, that refused to be caught:

    Check the records: $2.1 billion stolen or missing when he was Petroleum minister in 1977. $1.1 billion stolen or missing when he was chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund in 1997. Now, under his watch, $26 billion stolen or missing under the guise of contract award. Are these not a pattern of bad behavior that should have been punished in Western Civilized Societies? Look again the pattern of ethnic cleansing under his brutal and tyrannical regime

    • zacchaeus Akinleye

      You spew absolute trash, and should be ashamed of what you write on this forum. How is this rant related to Anyim’s arrest?

      • Jon

        It is related because all big fish should be caught and prosecuted and Pius Anyim and Buhari are two of those big fish. Catch Obj too.

    • Julius

      I knew that you people will be crying witch hunt of one the hardest working people on the planet. Never accept responsibility for anything. Na the list of others from the other tribes is your best defense ..as usual.

    • whereto

      No sane person is interested in this rubbish you keep posting.

    • serubawon70

      And those mansions he built in Abuja. Abi?

  • atakamosu

    Either charge him to court or release him.

  • Shahokaya

    The bulky frame of this guy would be difficult to fit into the cells in Kuje prison. Kindly send him to Gashua prison which is nest to Sambisa Forest to enjoy the loot he amassed as senate president and as secretary to that fantastically corrupt Jonathan government that won gold medal in stealing.

  • grand maze

    They should arrest him very well. The man is only after his stomach. In fact with his bulky frame, a little stint at efcc cells will be good in reducing his cholesterol.

    • Jon

      Arrest should begin here:

      Check the records: $2.1 billion stolen or missing when he was Petroleum minister in 1977. $1.1 billion stolen or missing when he was chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund in 1997. Now, under his watch, $26 billion stolen or missing under the guise of contract award. Are these not a pattern of bad behavior that should have been punished in Western Civilized Societies? Look again the pattern of ethnic cleansing under his brutal and tyrannical regime

      • princegab

        Na so ooo.
        Hummmm

      • ray

        You can’t change change the subject matter here with falsehood .

  • Eluba Inas

    I think there is a difference between arrest and being questioned. Why is PT too eager to reach this conclusion?

    • SeniO.

      The story is still evolving… But I agree, Kemi has sounded a very loud false alarm.

  • Bigtin

    Why did it take this long….

    • Straight face

      @Bigtin:disqus;

      I remember Goodluck Jonathan

      Let Goodluck Jonathan take a private moment to think. He’s out of power
      now and he can see the horrors fastly trailing his appointed officials. Let Jonathan ask
      himself if all of this tragedy could not have been avoided if he took certain sensible steps
      to rein in these officials in whilst he had the power to act. Had Goodluck Jonathan come
      into office with a moral compass in the year 2010, and resolved within himself
      to bring past thefts to justice, and penalize all the corrupt acts in government
      offices, he’d have set such a high standard that would have left Muhamadu
      Buhari for dead in the following 2015 election, with nothing for Buhari to
      campaign on.

      But alas, Goodluck Jonathan left the barn door open with almost reckless
      indifference. Had Goodluck Jonathan made the smart move in the year 2011 or
      shortly after to undertake a forensic probe of Lagos state government accounts,
      Bola Tinubu would not have been available as a coalition partner four years
      later for the APC tragedy which later befell Nigeria. And now, with little or
      no public sympathy Goodluck Jonathan’s family and his appointed officials are
      being stripped of all financial assets, good name and put to shame in detention
      for one theft charge or another, like just desserts for reckless indifference.

      • Avatar Vlestfac3

        @Bigtin:disqus

        There are now 28 million un-employed youths inside Nigeria today, a staggering figure equal to the entire population of Ghana; a neighbouring West African country – according to a latest official bulletin issued by the federal Nigerian Bureau of Statistics. The horrific jobless figure in Nigeria today is over half the whole
        population of Nigeria at independence on October 1st, 1960 and equal to all the human beings living in Ghana today.

      • Gbabe!!!!!!

        YES O, JUST AS THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, SHAME AND DISGRACE IS JUST DESERTS
        FOR THEFT AND CORRUPTION AS NOBODY WILL CARRY A PLACARD TO SAVE THIEVES!!

      • Bigtin

        What a colossal tradegy …..you will weep deeply for Nigeria if you know as much as I know what this guy did to this beautiful land. For the sake of future generations, God pls help us to recover

    • Ajayi Ifayemi

      If only you know how many thieves they are pursuing. It can only be done one at a time.

  • O’tega

    What is really wrong with this Muhammed Buhari? How can you be commiserating with people in other countries (victims of earthquake in Iran & Iraq) several thousands of kilometers away whereas you refused to commiserate or send any condolence message to the families of the 28 Nigerian females who drowned in the Mediterranean attempting to cross over to Italy while fleeing the comatose and harsh economic environment created by Buhari and his clueless band of confused people. Isn’t this ‘mumudity’?

    • The Optimist

      Isn’t that a pointer that he is apparently in support of the massacres?

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    The APC are playing dirty, they want Pius to declare for APC and deliver Ebonyi state since he is the main obstacle there but they will fail woefully .

  • Timothy

    This case has some undertone which I cant put my hands on….is the SGF in charge of disbursing funds? Or is he in-charge of these funds directly thats the Ecological funds? Meanwhile the Centenary City case…..a very good idea gone dead because of corruption….the vision and aim all went up in smoke because greed…..just also as all other development matters where people just share money and allocate to themselves what could benefit all….here we are spending billions on a project that will never finish….Is that not how they told us about the second Niger Bridge and till date we are yet to see it….China built the largest bridge in the world in 4 years….Dubai has built cities far greater than our meager Centenary City and today the world goes to it….but my people will rather have fat pockets and fat stomach rather than see a structure that they and their generations will talk about for centuries to come….why are we like this?

    • utolason

      Don’t speculate because a lot happened in Jonathan’s government….people disbursing money with no authority to do so but were unchallenged. It was a free-for-all bonanza!

    • thusspokez

      This case has some undertone which I cant put my hands on….is the SGF in charge of disbursing funds? Or is he in-charge of these funds directly thats the Ecological funds?

      This highlights how chaotic and indiscipline Nigerian governments and its public officials are.

      These official see their role as fluid and without boundaries. Take for example. Lai Mohammed, the minister of Culture and Information who doesn’t seem to have any clue what his roles are. He speaks on every issue; visit factories — one would think he is the minister of Industry or even Labour –; he visits soldiers fighting boko haram, again one would think he is the minister of defence to mention a few examples.

      You just don’t know who is in-charge of which government department. They are all doing one another’s job. I am sure that was how SGF came to be in-charge of disbursing funds even though it wasn’t the responsibility of his department. I hear that in Imo state or so, legislators often ‘assist’ the governors to award state government contracts. Well that is division of labour or checks and balances — Nigerian style!

  • JUDGEMENT Day Proceedings

    HEAVEN : Oyedepo, as a Pastor while on earth, can you explain why you flew in Private Jets?
    OYEDEPO : I had the money my Lord! I could afford it.
    HEAVEN : Are you aware that millions of church members were hungry and had no transport to take them to church?
    OYEDEPO : Yes my Lord.
    HEAVEN : So is it morally right that you flew in more than one private Jet in the midst of massive poverty of worshippers?
    OYEDEPO : No Sir. Sorry No my Lord! I am sorry. Please forgive me.
    HEAVEN : Why did you slap a little girl in Church in front of the congregation? And u said u would slap her again and again!
    OYEDEPO : Ple forgive me my Lord.
    HEAVEN : Why did you not apologize to the girl? Is that not pride?
    OYEDEPO : I am sorry my Lord. Pls forgive me.
    HEAVEN : You collected Tithes from members of your Church. Where is the money?
    OYEDEPO : I bought Jets with the money, built mansions, schools and the rest are in Panama, Paradise & Pandemonium tax havens
    HEAVEN : Is that not fraudulent, stealing by trickery and outright deceit and robbery?
    OYEDEPO: Yes my Lord! I am sorry pls forgive me.
    HEAVEN : Why is it that your University is so expensive that the poor cannot attend?
    OYEDEPO : Pls my Lord forgive me. I am sorry I wish I can have another chance.



    …to be continued!

    • serubawon70

      Not only Oyedepo o

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      If I may ask, what has Oyedepo got to do with the above topic ?

  • thusspokez

    While serving as SGF in 2012, Mr. Anyim was linked to shortfalls of about N396 billion in the Ecological Funds deductions.

    You know what, I don’t really blame Mr. Anyim for getting away with his alleged crimes for so long. But I blame the cowardly EFCC for taking 5 years to summon up the courage to arrest him.

    Nigerian law enforcement agencies are the reason why corruption continues to flourish. What is the EFCC doing about corrupt public officials in the APC and Buhari’s government, whose names keep coming up time and time again? There is the Lagos first-class looter Tinubu now claiming to be a Saint and even saying that GEJ should get a Gold medal for corruption.

    Do Nigerians have to wait for a PDP government before the EFCC would summon up the courage to arrest the current crops of looters? Historical looters like IBB, A. Abubakar OBJ, Atiku, Tinubu; and the current alleged looters whose names keep coming up time and time again in corruption activities, e.g., the AGF, Fashola, Amaechi, Kyari, Baru (NNPC), the IGP — given his recent antics in the Senate and abuse of the court process.

  • curseless

    It is sad when this generation put ethnic spin on trying to query why some current or previous office holders are docked for corruption offences. The arrest of Pius Anyim has been known to be a matter of time and there are many more to go. The thing that we should be belly aching about is the fact that the so called judiciary have been compromised to the point that they are unable to prosecute cases to successful conclusion. For Nigeria to survive as a nation we should be honest and courageous enough to bring the crooks in our midst to book regardless of his/her ethnic persuasion. If subsequent governments have even made some effort to confront this evil that nation will rise. The amount of money stolen is so massive that one can not wrap the mind around it and I’m one of those who believe that there should be no preferential treatment. You are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Hukuhuku, or whatever have you should be brought to book and let’s save our coming generation from unwarranted nonsense.

    • thusspokez

      This is not about tribe but the cowardice of the Nigerian law enforcement agencies. Nigerians should hold the law enforcement agencies, i.e., EFCC responsible. As long as they continue to dodge their constitutional responsibilities, corruption will continue to flourish.

      What will be the worst that could happen to Mr. Magoo if he tries to catch the corrupt wabbits in Buhari’s government? A sack? Then let Buhari do it and discredit himself. Sadly, Mr. Magoo is not even pretending to catch any wabbits — so that some people could at least say that he tried but failed.

  • Mentus

    However long it takes, this APC government wiil eventually be kicked out of power. I hope who ever takes over will carry on with this so called fight against corruption.
    Buhari’s book of curruption will then be opened and he and his current untouchables like IGP Idris, Buratai, the Attorney general, Kyari, Magu etc wiil in turn be probed. This is the only time we will know how they fared.
    All the allegations he thinks he has cleverly swept under the carpet, not least the unprecedented extra judicial and Fulani herdsmen killings’ will resurface and Nigerians will then know how vile and morally bereft this government is. They have managed to muzzle
    media and Fulanis’ atrocities are barely and sketchily reported by one or two papers and even then are required to publish government’s version which does no justice the real account.
    Money can be rightly or wrongly recovered, but not lives.
    If anybody predicted Mugabe’s position to him last month, he would never have believed him. Not that the army will ever turn against Buhari, but God works in mysterious ways.

    • john

      Nothing you’ve said here makes sense. You’re just vexed because your thieving kinsman has been arrested and you then use the opportunity to display your hatred against another ethnicity in Nigeria. God works in miraculous ways indeed. Just as you thought buhari would never defeat Jonathan 2015. Watch God renew buharis mandate 2019. Ipob bigot.

  • born Great

    Mr Anyim has no case to answer in these two allegations against him. First money was loaned to state governments and federation account, they paid some and did not pay balance. Simple arithmetic, you know the people still owing by the records, Go after them. Secondly, the centenary city 100% private funded project. The report alleged that it was turned to a personal gain. My question, will a privately owned business be for public gain, absolutely not. This is a smear campaign against Mr Anyim, and it can not stand. I Don’t know him personally, neither have I gain anything from Mr Anyim, but the facts must be stated rightly.

  • omo56

    This one person is responsible for the downfall of Good Luck when he convinced Good Luck to sideline the Yoruba in his ministerial appointments; six for SE and one for the whole of SW. Even on that one SW had to meet with GL; hence GL lost the SW among other regions

    Now we have killer herdsmen and other plagues messing up Nigeria

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Fat and greedy pius….3000 acres, all for one man ? Please hang him .