The Story of Shekarau's Foreign Account


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The Story of Shekarau’s Foreign Accounts




Jaafar Jaafar




September 12, 2006 



For Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the bold but basket-mouth chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, it poured. And when it poured or spilt, hardly one can recoup the exact quantity before it spilt. It could only be moped up and left the remnant to soak. Its, in a similar vein, akin to releasing a mouse in bales of hay. Those that cannot be recouped, though seen, are those who Nigerians called sacred cows. Ribadu’s shoulder is laden enough with allegations and counter allegations that he could only act on a whim. Nigerians may have been happy that stratocracy or military government had withered with all its overhanging branches and leaves, to wit – corruption, impunity and obnoxious laws. But all these, to our downright chagrin, are still the features of our modern-day democracy. The cases of corruption have, like mushrooms, sprung in a different shapes and styles. Impunity and flagrant abuse of the court orders by the executive and some sacred cows are the order of the day. Anti-people laws have several times gained passage through our legislative chambers while good laws are dumped into the bin of materialism. Such is our democracy.


This writer is one the supporters of any move of the Federal Government to put a knife through the underbelly of this monster that has, as we suppose, plagued our development. I support Obasanjo’s crusade (with the obvious selective derring-do of Ribadu though) because there is no false accusation. The restitution of the billions stolen by Nigerian fraudsters and leaders to the original owners is, to any impartial commentator, commendable. Yet, in the interest of fairness, we must totally condemn the lackadaisical manner in which they handle other cases involving those who are in the good books of the president and others who, according to the perception of others, bribe some EFCC officials to evade humiliation.


The EFCC Act 2004 and Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2004, give powers to this commission to fight financial crimes committed by all Nigerians, including the occupants of the public office. The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU (the local branch of the Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU) now dons the famous but dreaded attire called EFCC. And being a brainchild of the Financial Action Task-Force (FATC), a Paris-based institution of the G8 with the responsibility of fighting drug and financial crimes around the world, coupled with the active support of the United States, this commission (EFCC) is expected to copy the zeal, impartiality and passion with which the Western countries fight corruption. But certain forces, however, dog the passion and zeal of the commission.


The rumour that is now circulating around the town is that Kano State governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau; Abdullahi Sani Rogo, former commissioner for local governments (now adviser to the governor) and; Garba Yusuf, the present Commissioner for Environment (who were interrogated alongside their principal by the EFCC with respect to their alleged foreign accounts) have bribed the EFCC officials to avoid humiliation. The allegation against them, if found to be true, is quite unfortunate and a clear violation of Section 3 of the Fifth Schedule, Part 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that states clearly: “The President, Vice President, Governor, Deputy Governor, Ministers of the government of the federation, and Commissioners of government of the States, members of the National Assembly and Houses of Assembly of the states and such other public officers or persons as the National Assembly may by law prescribe, shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.”


It will amaze Kano people (the small group who are still under the spell of a phenomenon called Shekarau would be more surprised) to know that one M.I. Shekarau, a Nigerian (could it be our governor?), has a classified National Westminster Bank Plc., account with a whopping deposit of £4,512,269.59 with the account number: 4113242. National Westminster Bank Plc is at Level 7 Phase 2, Rentioville Road, London, N1 9h1, England.


The same masquerade who calls himself M.I Shekarau also operates a classified account at National Commercial Bank Plc., Head office Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with the equally whopping deposit of 2,214,905.67 Riyals. The account number is 9600438 and National Commercial Bank is located at Jeddah 21481, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Relatively speaking, other deposits belonging to one Mr S. A. Rogo and one G. A. Yusuf are ‘paltry.’ The classified account deposit belonging to Mr S. A. Rogo has 9,336,00 DM with the account number: 35000861 and the code number is 51130006. The bank’s address is TAUNUSANILAGE 12, D – 60325, Frankfurt, AM Main Germany. This same bank has another deposit of £5,428.00 belonging to one G. A. Yusuf with the account number: 343356 and a code number: 61240053. The same G. A. Yusuf has a deposit of 9,428.00 DM at Deutsche Bank A.G., Heidenhern, Germany. The account number is 2125356 and the bank code is 61370086.


Could all these allegations be coincidence? Could the initials: M. I. Shekarau be our very own Malam Ibrahim Shekarau? Could it be a fabrication of some “contending forces” (who are rich enough to deposit more than N1bn in the M. I. Shekarau’s accounts)? Could the initials G. A. Yusuf be Garba A. Yusuf, the State Commissioner for Environment and Abdullahi Sani Rogo, former Commissioner for Local Governments who recently suffered humiliations that led to his forced exit from the cabinet? The questions are left for EFCC to answer.


It is still unfathomable and beyond my wildest dreams that the governor’s aides, let alone Governor Shekarau would be enmeshed in any money laundering charge until recently when I came into possession of the aforesaid classified infosheet that shocked me so much that I almost drooled over it. Utterly perplexed, I complained to my source that the money is too much – it is more than N1bn! How could he…? But the response of this notable proffered the suitable answer to my poser. “Shekarau’s government so far receives more than N200 billion,” he quipped, “so it is like an ordinary man losing N1 out of N200 – would he have felt the pain?” No! So now the saint we knew in 2003 has joined the comity of other looters? If so, no thanks to the handiwork of absolute power, which as the famous aphorism says, corrupts absolutely. It is yet another broad moral question mark dangling not only on the governor, but also on the integrity of Kano people who are never known to be money launderers. How could we remember our governor in that stinking side of history? The side where we remember other leaders like Jean-Claude Duvalier, former president of Haiti; where we remember Mobutu Sese Seko, former president of Zaire; Ferdinand Marcos, former president of Philippines; Suharto, former Indonesian president; DSP Alamieseigha; “M. I. Shekarau” (?) etc?


Sources close to intelligence circles say that when the governor was confronted with these allegations, the obviously terrified governor allegedly admitted that it is his signature but he is not the one who operates the accounts (á la President Obasanjo who claims that Ota Farms cheques are not signed by him despite the fact that his famous “OO” signature always bore the cheques). In his characteristic manner of giving implausible pretext, Shekarau allegedly testified that it was Kwankwaso (his whipping boy) who deposited over four million pounds and over two million riyals into the accounts! To anybody who has had the privilege of successfully completing his primary school education, this is most ridiculous.  This came after spending three years mismanaging our resources, telling us lies, deceiving us, telling us they are saints, holier than thou and very transparent that a bottle of Highland Water is envious. These are the people who claim to have monopoly of piety, integrity and transparency above any other son of our blessed state. Abomination!


Meanwhile it is yet another burden on the EFCC’s shoulders, Kano people eagerly await their actions since they have not, perhaps, drawn a blank… Over to you Mallam Nuhu.



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