Alleged N14bn Fraud: Nigeria’s Senior Civil Servants’ Association Under Probe As EFCC Grills Union’s Principal Official
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited for questioning Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, the Secretary-General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), a senior staff union affiliated to the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
The union has allegedly been under probe by the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies lately.
According to a statement by the Congress of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (CSCSN), Lawal’s invitation as revealed by a reliable source is connected to the massive fraud uncovered in the senior staff union.
The CSCSN said it was in support of the probe, adding that it was long overdue.
The Convener of the CSCSN, Andrew Emelieze, in the statement on Wednesday said a source confirmed that the embattled Secretary-General was being queried for his source of wealth as an officer of an industrial union, which observe the same conditions of service with the civil service.
The statement said, “We are reliably informed that EFCC is investigating Comrade Lawal over his one billion naira (N1 billion) investment in Meristem Securities Limited, his over ten billion naira (N10 billion) choice property in Banana Island, Lagos, Maitama, Abuja and other foreign property outside Nigeria yet to be quantified.
“Our source also confirmed that besides Lawal’s invitation, other top officials of the union, which include Comrade Akorede Fatai, the chief accountant of the union, has been in the EFCC net since Monday 7th March 2022 and that about N1.8 billion was traced to his personal account of which he has not been able to explain the source of the funds in his account. “A sum of N100 million was also traced to Akorede’s investment in Meristem Securities Limited. We were also reliably informed that Comrade Joseph Meshach, the Kwara State Secretary of ASCSN, had over N65 million traced to his personal account of which he denied knowledge of that amount of money in his account and that the money could have been transacted on his account without his knowledge.
“Our source further revealed that upon investigations, over N175 million was traced to the personal account of the Deputy Secretary-General of the union, Comrade Apebo Joshua.
“Among those to be investigated by the EFCC, our sources revealed, includes Comrade Funmilayo Victoria Salami, the confidential secretary/typist of Comrade Comrade Lawal, whom N350 million has been traced to her personal account.
“Finally, Comrade Isaac Ojemehken, the Secretary in charge of Abuja Office who had also been invited for questioning by the EFCC had over N650 million traced to his account; 80% of which he has not been able to give an account of during the interrogation session.
“It was also confirmed by our source that the investigation is ongoing and that revelations will be shocking and equally unimaginable. As at the time of writing this report, the secretariat of the union is in disarray, with workers avoiding the union’s secretariat for fear of being arrested by the EFCC.
“As a workers’ movement and also as anti-corruption crusaders, we are in total support of this probe which we think is long overdue. We, therefore, call on the EFCC, especially its chairman, to allow for a clinical job to be done and ensure that all stolen funds of the union are returned to the workers’ union.”