By Ise-Oluwa Ige
Posted to the Web: Tuesday, October 03, 2006
*Says he has no excuse on alleged diversion of PTDF money
ABUJA— THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
says it is ready to confront Vice President Atiku Abubakar
with material evidence in court of his alleged corrupt acts
in the disbursement of the Petroleum Technology Development
The VP had gone to court contesting the EFCC and the
Administrative Panel reports indicting him for abuse of
office in his management of the PTDF money.
He said in his statement of claims that he ought to have
been given a fair hearing on the placement of the PTDF funds
in Trans International Bank and Equatorial Trust Bank before
But the EFCC in it counter-affidavit deposed to by one of
its detectives, Abdullah Bello, said not only was the VP
asked questions on the placement of the funds, but was given
latitude to comment on all issues relating to the subject of
Besides, the commission said he reacted to all questions
relating to the placement of fund which formed the basis of
his indictment. EFCC, consequently, said his claim that he
was not given a fair hearing was laughable.
The anti-graft body which vowed to confront him with
material evidence at the appropriate time also described as
nonsense another claim by the vice president that he was not
given a copy of the report indicting him. The EFCC said it
was not under any obligation to make available to him any
The commission’s position on the string of allegations by
Atiku is contained in a 21-paragraph counter-affidavit filed
before the Federal High Court, Abuja in reaction to the suit
initiated by him (VP Atiku) to impeach the EFCC’s report
which indicted him.
Vice President Atiku had dragged EFCC and nine others to
court over two separate indictments entered against him in
respect of the management of the PTDF’s account.
The vice president had alleged in an affidavit deposed to
before the Abuja Federal High Court through one of his
assistants, Umar Pariya, to the effect that both the EFCC
and the Administrative Panel of Inquiry headed by the
Federation Attorney-General, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) which
investigated him on the fund breached the principle of audi
He said he was not asked questions ron the basis of his
indictment and that the rule of natural justice demanded
that he be given fair hearing before he could be indicted.
He, therefore, prayed the court to void the indictments on
the ground that he was not given fair hearing.
First to react to the allegation was the Justice Minister in
a 55-paragraph counter-affidavit while EFCC joined with
another 21-paragraph counter-affidavit.
Chief Ojo (SAN) not only defended himself, his panel, and
the EFCC, he also accused the VP of illegal diversion of
His words: •That in the plaintiff’s response, the plaintiff
did not address the issues fully but omitted to disclose
vital facts to the court. To wit:
•That the plaintiff diverted funds meant for PTDF operations
to finance NDTV.
•That even though the projects for which funds were required
in the PTDF were not approved until 2006, the plaintiff had
ordered that the money be withdrawn from treasury since
•That on 18/10/03, the plaintiff directed the
Accountant-General of the Federation to release USD$20
million to PTDF without the approval of the Executive
Council to enable the PTDF carry out some projects but the
money was placed on term deposit in TIB.
•That the placement of the money in TIB was done to promote
the business of NDTV, the plaintiff’s other interests and
that of some of his friends and associates.
•That as soon as the placement was made, NDTV was granted a
loan of N400 million on 20/10/03 and N420 million on
22/10/03 by T.I.B.
•That Otunba Fasawe remitted the sum of N400 million to the
plaintiff’s Personal Assistant, Alhaji Umaru Pariya, on
4/10/2003 which sum Otunba Fasawe recovered through a loan
of N420 million received from TIB on 22/10/03 after the
PTDF’s funds placement.
•That the plaintiff paid from his Marine Float Account in
Bank PHB the sum of N30 million for the purchase of the
property at No. 555 Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II.
•That the plaintiff’s property at No. 555, Ademola
Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II, is used as the headquarters of
•That the balance of the purchase money for the property
referred to above was paid after the plaintiff ordered a
placement of USD$10 million in TIB and a loan of N400
million was granted by TIB to NDTV.
•That several other people were paid various sums of money
deposited in TIB pursuant to directive by the plaintiff.
Evidence of the beneficiaries and the amount will be given
at the trial.
•That from a total sum of $30 million placed by PTDF in TIB,
only the sum of $6.25 million has been repaid, leaving an
outstanding balance of $23.75 million to date.
•That the plaintiff also ordered placement of $50 million in
•That the plaintiff further directed that the sum of $52.9
million and $62.1 million be placed in ETB from the account
•That the plaintiff stood as surety for Otunba Fasawe when
NTDV applied for Value Added Network Service from Nigeria
Communication Commission (NCC).
•That all these facts stated in paragraph 13 supra were
never disclosed by the plaintiff in his response.
•That the plaintiff attached Exhibits 5A and 5B to give the
impression that the money invested was with the consent of
the President (See Paragraph (XV) of the affidavit in
support of originating Summons.
•That however, the President never approved the release of
the funds for the purpose of placing it in any bank.
•That on the contrary, the money was approved for the
purpose of implementing projects relating to the programme
•That Exhibit 5A attached to plaintiff’s affidavit shows
that on 29th April 2003, the plaintiff approved the
placement of a total sum of $125 million in two banks (ETB
•That on 14th October, 2003, the plaintiff directed the
release of an additional sum of $20 million from the
•That Exhibits 5B mentioned that the $20 million was to be
used to carry out some projects according to the letter
seeking approval by the PTDF.
•That, however, rather than use the $20 million to carry out
any project, the funds were placed with TIB and used for
NDTV where the plaintiff had substantial interest.
• That contrary to paragraphs 18(xii) and (xiii) of the
affidavit in support of the Originating Summons, the 7th
Defendant in its report indicted the Plaintiff at Pages
32-33 as follows:
•That the placement of the PTDF’s fund was not done
arbitrarily but deliberately designed to promote some
business ventures in which the plaintiff and some of his
friends has interest.
•That the placement in TIB, for instance, was designed to
promote Netlink Digital Televant (NDTV), a satellite
television project and Mofas Shipping Company where the
Chairman of both companies is Otunba Fasawe, a long standing
friend of the plaintiff.
•It has also been revealed that Otunba Fasawe remitted the
sum of N400 million to the plaintiff’s Personal Assistant,
Alhaji Umaru Pariya, on the 4/10/03 which he conveniently
recovered through a loan of N420 million he received from
TIB on the 22/10/03 after the PTDF’s funds placement.”
•That a clear demonstration of the plaintiff’s business
interest in NDTV is the fact that on 07/10/03 the plaintiff
paid the initial sum of N30 million deposit from his Marine
Float Account in the Bank PHB for the purchase of the
property situated at No. 555 Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse
II, Abuja and used as its headquarters.”
•That to further buttress the long standing business
relationship between the plaintiff and Otunba Fasawe, the
latter paid the plaintiff the sum of N61 million on 29/01/01
from his Mofas account with TIB.
•That a further sum of N25 million from Mofas Shipping
Company’s account of Otunba Fasawe in TIB was transferred to
plaintiff’s Marine Float Account in Bank PHB on 18/02/03.
•That acting on the facts stated above the plaintiff was
indicted by the 7th defendant for embezzlement and fraud.
The EFCC counter-affidavit is similar to the A-G’s.