EFCC tells court how Suswam converted N3.1bn loot to $15.8m cash; the Elixir Investment Partners, Fanffash Resources connection
Details of how former Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State looted N3.1 billion from the North-Central state were revealed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) declared that Suswam and his Finance Commissioner, Omadachi Okolobia, were involved in the scam.
At the resumed trial, a detective with the EFCC who is the prosecution witness, Junaidu Sa’id, told the court that his team investigated a petition dated July 14, 2015 against Suswam and Okolobia.
He said investigation revealed that Suswam requested that shares owned by the Benue State Government be sold for the sum of N10 billion to raised.
Consequent upon that, Elixir Investment Partners was appointed as stockbrokers to carry out the sales of the shares, of which over N9 billion was realised from the sales of the shares.
Elixir Investment Partners, the witness said, was instructed to pay the N9 billion realised from the sales of the shares into three bank accounts.
Another instruction was given for the payment of N1 billion to Benue Investment Properties Company’s account, while the balance of N8 billion was paid into two accounts with the name of Benue State Ministry of Finance.
However, when Elixir attempted to pay into the two accounts of Benue State Ministry of Finance as was directed, it was discovered that one of the accounts does not belong to Benue State Ministry of Finance but to one Fanffash Resources.
Sa’id stated further that upon this discovery, Elixir sought clarification from Okolobia who gave him the go-ahead that the payment should be made in the name of Fanffash Resources.
Investigation revealed that N5 billion was paid into the account of Benue State Ministry of Finance by Elixir Investment Partners, while a total sum of N3.1 billion was paid into Fanffash Resources account.
The witness said the owner of Fanfash Resources, Abubakar Umar, was invited by the EFCC, who confirmed that he received N3.1 billion and converted same to dollar equivalent, amounting to $15.8 million and that he delivered same in cash to Suswam at his Maitama residence in Abuja.
He told the court that the former Finance Commissioner confirmed issuing directives for the payments to be made to Fanffash Resources and Benue State Ministry of Finance.
He also confirmed to the EFCC investigating team that he collected N370 million in cash from the cashier of Benue State Ministry of Finance.
The court adjourned till January 18 and 19, 2016 for cross examination of the witness and continuation of hearing.