Emeka Mba, 4 others to face trial over N10bn scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered N10,061,172,600 from the National Broadcasting Commission in its investigation on the alleged inflation of collateral funds meant for Digital Set-Top -Boxes.

The former Director-General of NBC, Emeka Mba, NBC’s Director of Finance, Patrick Areh, the Managing Director, Technology Advisor, Basil Udotai, and the Managing Director of In-View Technology Limited and D-Vine Partners Limited, Babatunji Amure are all being investigated for their involvement in the said scam.

The EFCC noted that the NBC, under Emeka Mba flouted the Federal Government’s directive on Treasury Single Account (TSA) by diverting N15,038,400,000 out of N34,114,500,000 paid by MTN for Spectrum Band Width.

The money was meant to have been used to finance the contract for the Digital Set-Top -Boxes.

However, the anti-graft agency discovered that even though over N15 billion was earmarked for the contract and diverted to Zenith Bank as collateral, only N4,977,227,400 was needed.

After a reconciliation meeting with Zenith Bank Plc, EFCC revealed that it was “agreed that N10,061,172,600 was in excess and should be recovered by the EFCC.”

Mba and the four others would be prosecuted by the commission as communicated in a document released on Thursday, March 3.

The document reads in part: “Sometimes  in 2015, the Federal Government through the Office of the Head of Service issued a circular dated 7/8/2015 directing all government parastatals and agencies to mop up all government funds in commercial banks to Treasury Single Account( TSA) with CBN.”

“However the NBC in a flagrant disobedience to the directives of the government diverted the funds in its accounts to some companies.”

“That on 28/7/15, the NBC received an inflow of N34,114,500,000 (Thirty four billion, one hundred and fourteen million, five hundred thousand Naira) from the MTN Operations  Account being proceed of lease of Spectrum Band Width licensed to MTN by the commission.”

“That while the funds were in the account of NBC, the FG issued a circular dated 07/08/2015 to the effect that all government agencies and parastatals should mop up and move all the funds in their accounts to Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the CBN.  This directive was to both the agencies and the banks that maintained those  accounts.”

“That despite the directives, the DG National Broadcasting Commission and the bank in a flagrant disobedience to the directive transferred the sum of N2,899,500,000 to the account of Technology Advisor on 12/08/15 and then moved the sum of N15,038,400,000 in two tranches on 10/09/2015 and 14/09/2015 to Zenith Bank Plc which he claimed was a collateral security for Set-Top-Boxes suppliers while the balance of N15,891,625,341.57 was transferred to TSA in CBN on 15/09/2015.

“That as soon as Technology Advisor received the funds in its account, he commenced distribution to several beneficiaries which include N390,000,000 and N20,000,000 paid to the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Patrick Areh through Kalaz Ventures Limited, a Bureau De Change operated by Abdullahi Kabiru who confirmed receiving the funds which he transferred the sum of N130million to Azuku Global Resources Limited while the balance was exchanged into dollars and handed over to MD Azuku Global Resources Limited, one Ibrahim Samaila fir onward transmission to the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Patrick Areh.”

“That Areh confirmed receiving part of the funds in dollars while the balance of N130million was given to Azuku Global Resources Limited for the construction of his Radio House at Onitsha, Anambra State.”

“That In-View Technology Ltd was contracted to provide Digital Access for the Set-Top -Boxes and was paid N1,237,400,000 out of which the company transferred N20million to Patrick Areh through Azuku Global Resources.”

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