Jamoh petitions EFCC over alleged N1.5tn, $9m fraud
…Demand accusers’ appearance, investigation
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Agitated by an ill motivated allegation intended to rubbish his integrity and name, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to invite one Jackson Ude, who he claimed accused him of fraudulent financial deals to come forward and substantiate his allegation.
The NIMASA DG who alleged blackmail in the petition he wrote to the Commission yesterday, 24th May, 2021, expressed concern that the allegations were weighty and has the capacity to negatively impact on the image of the country and indeed, the government; and requested the anti-graft body to undertake a clinical investigation to establish the veracity or otherwise of the allegation; and two, “to set the record straight.”
Whereas his accuser, Ude, believed to be the publisher of Point-Blank online social media, had in an earlier report alleged that the sum of N1.5trillion and $9million has been traced to the maritime chief regulator’s personal accounts, he later changed the narrative and absolved Jamoh of the controversial sum of N1.5million purportedly laundered through a firm known as Talent Expertise International, TEI, based in Dubai.
However, Ude insisted that Jamoh has question to answer over the sum of $9million, which he said was government money being siphoned by the NIMASA boss through his personal company; an allegation the later has denied, while urging EFCC to dig into the matter and come out with its report.
A copy of the letter addressed to the Chairman of EFCC and sighted by our reporter, Jamoh also expressed worry that not only his name but that of his family was at stake, and urged the commission to take necessary action to put the matter to rest through expeditious investigation, since the allegation also impugned the integrity of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The letter reads: “I write to bring to your attention the attached online publications and tweets that have gone viral since Friday 21st of May, 2021. The publications emanated from series of tweets of one Jackson Ude alleging the sums of NI .5 trillion and another US$9,557,312.50 were traced to my personal account”
“The allegation of money laundering which impugn my integrity, character and family name have been circulating on the social media also suggested that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria be invited by Security Agencies to give reasons why such huge sums of money was transferred to my personal account instead of the Treasury Single Account.”
“In view of this weighty allegation and the insidious and perniciously damaging effect on the government and the country, I hereby request that a thorough and painstaking investigation be carried out by your commission with a view to unraveling the truth or accuracy of the allegation. This is to put the record straight in the public domain, please.”
Meanwhile, online social media reports have gone to town to say the matter was a case of mistaking identity, noting that the said Ude inadvertently mistook Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh for one Mr. Hamza Ibrahim Jamo, a retired employee of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
While some of the online reports claimed that Ude have had interactions with Hamza Ibrahim Jamo over the subject matter, other reports noted that the quoted account details, Fidelity Bank Account 4020949836 with BVN 22151837650 and Cell phone number 08034517410, actually belong to Hamza Ibrahim Jamo, said to be a representative of Talent Enterprise International, a Dubai-based training firm.
This is even some online publications also claimed to have spoken with the said Jamo, who purportedly accused Jackson Ude of being a blackmailer. According to the reports, Jamo claimed what he has in the said Fidelity Bank account is his retirement benefits and not N1.5trillion as claimed by Ude.
Despite maintaining only his legitimate earnings in the said bank account, Jamo, reportedly by his own admission, however disclosed that he closed the account over a period of time, due to activities of fraudulent persons aimed at stealing his money.
He reportedly told journalists during a telephone interview, purportedly from his Kaduna base that he was invited by the EFCC between August and September 2019 when they uncovered plans by criminals to hack into the account and steal his money.
The reports according to Jamo, further claimed that the anti-graft body arrested unspecified number of suspected fraudsters in Lagos, Benin and Bauchi in connection with attempts to hack into the Fidelity Bank account to steal his money, following which he purportedly closed the account for almost a year.
The obvious case of mistaken identity has been laid to rest, as check on TEI website www.talentexpertiseintl.com has revealed the name, profile, and picture of Jamo Ibrahim Hamza, which was published as one of its directors.
It is believed that following the release of the publication by Ude, TEI has issued a statement saying it has no business relationship with the DG NIMASA or the agency.
The statement signed by John Philip, Chief Executive Officer of Talent Expertise, reads: “I wish to confirm that Talent Expertise International operating out of Dubai, UAE and Abuja, Nigeria has no connection with Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA.
“Contrary to the said notification, Dr. Bashir has never at any time held any position within TEI and he has never had a role in the formation or running of this company.
“I wish to confirm that at no time in the past has TEI had any formal or informal client/supplier relationship with NIMASA. At no time have we ever provided services to or received payment from NIMASA.
“Talent Expertise International is being represented by Mr. Hamza Ibrahim Jamo as its local Nigerian Director, a retiree from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation” , the statement added.
A staff of NIMASA public affairs department who does not want his name mentioned, said his boss’ decision to petition the EFCC is the right move, noting that no man in the DG’s position would do otherwise.
“Under the circumstances, our DG has taking the right steps, because however you look at it, it is also the only legitimate first step to take. As a public servant he has to redeem his image that has been called to question.
“So it is up to the one who has alleged to go and give EFCC proves of his allegation. It is not enough to allege, the onus to prove the allegation is also of major importance.
“It is evil for anyone to sit somewhere and begin to concoct allegations, without proper verification.”