A worrying pattern of suspicious structured transactions that suggest money laundering may have caused troubles for the former governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, who is now a senator.
Mr Al-Makura and his wife were arrested by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, on Wednesday, PREMIUM TIMES learnt. The agency has not disclosed the details of the allegations that led to the arrest of the couple who were still being interrogated at the time of this report.
However, sources with understanding of some suspicious transactions involving the couple, their companies, including Ta’al hotel in Lafia, and some businesses, said the EFCC arrested the couple on suspicion of involvement in dirty money flow.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that about 55 accounts controlled by the couple and their companies were involved in the suspicious transactions, amounting to billions of naira, when Mr Al-Makura was the governor of Nasarawa State between 2011 and 2019.
In one of the accounts, less than $250 was lodged there in the two years preceding his assumption of office, sources said, adding that soon after he became governor, huge deposits started flowing in an apparently structured pattern.
Many deposits into this particular domiciliary account and others were made by businesses alleged to have carried out contracts for the state government.
“The transactions raised suspicion of money laundering or routing of proceeds of corruption,” one source said.
The sources added that the anti-graft agency could have found that the depositors were lodging bribes into the accounts.
In one case, one business entity paid over N200 million, broken into structured nine transactions, in a single day, August 9, 2016, into one of Mr Al-Makura’s accounts, this newspaper learnt.
Two weeks after, another business made similar transactions. There is a also a case of huge transfers into a company owned by Mr Al-Makura and his wife by the state government. The reason for those transactions were not explained.
When contacted on Wednesday, Mr Al-Makura’s spokesperson, Danjuma Joseph, said said he was not aware of his principal’s travails.
The EFCC has also not officially confirmed Mr Al-Makura’s arrest.
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