The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested the Deputy Chairman, Finance Committee of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organization, Dr. Ngozi Olojeme.
Ngozi served as the Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund from 2009 to 2015.
She reportedly finally reported at the anti-graft agency on Monday, December 18, and was detained afterwards.
An EFCC detective stated: “After months of running, Mrs Olojeme finally turned herself in. She is currently being detained, and we have identified most of her properties.” The NSITF, which the suspect previously headed prior to her sack by President Buhari, is a social insurance scheme which is designed to provide compensation to employees who suffer from occupational accidents or diseases in the line of duty.
A one per cent deduction from all government and private sector employees enrolled in the scheme, is what funds the agency. However, according to certain documents, the suspect allegedly diverted billions of naira, including funds meant for the payment of allowances of the agency’s staff, as well as compensation for contributors, in collaboration with some directors in the company.
Olojeme ran into trouble, after she was sacked by the current president. A petition was subsequently submitted to the EFCC, alleging that over N50 billion from the Employee Compensation Scheme fund had been mismanaged and diverted into the personal accounts of Olojeme and the managing director of the NSITF, Umar Abubakar.
A team of detectives was immediately assembled by the anti-graft agency, to look into the allegations. Their investigations reportedly revealed that some funds had been deposited in accounts of some consultants and contractors who were alleged to be mainly fronts for Olojeme and other directors in the NSITF. Several of these directors and contractors returned funds to the EFCC, after they were invited to explain their own side of the story.
A report obtained from the EFCC read: “It was discovered that the NSITF accounts in First Bank of Nigeria and other banks have witnessed a total turnover of over N62,358,401,927 between 2012 and 2015 from the Employee Compensation Scheme contributions. “That out of the N62bn, the federal government contributed N13,600,000,000 while the sum of N48,758,401,927.80 was contributed by the private sector.
“That there were several payments to individuals and companies from the NSITF bank accounts for purported contracts or consultancy services. “That some individuals and companies that received these payments in turn transferred parts of the funds directly to the NSITF officials while others transferred huge sums to bureau de change operators who changed them to dollars.”
The report then stated that Olojeme sent her account officer at FBN to collect $48 million from some NSITF contractors through a BDC operator.
It stated further: “That through this process, Dr Ngozi Olojeme, the then NSITF board chairman, has collected a total sum of $48,485,127 from Mr Chuka Eze (her account officer at FBN), which cash he collected on her behalf, being the dollar equivalent of money paid to BDCs by NSITF contractors.”