EFCC closes N2.17bn fraud case against Obadina

Olusegun Obadina
Olusegun Obadina

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has closed its case against the chief executive officer of Almond Projects Limited, Olugbenga Obadina, before Justice Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Obadina is alleged to have collected the sum of N2.17bn from the office of a former national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), on November 28, 2015, without any contract agreements or approval.

Obadina and his company are standing trial on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, official corruption and money laundering.

The EFCC first arraigned them in July 2016 on eight counts of money laundering, involving alleged criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N2.4bn.

Spokesman of the EFCC Dele Oyewale, in a statement on Monday, said the prosecution counsel Ibrahim Buba closed his case after presenting four witnesses, thus setting the stage for the defendant to enter his defence.

In the statement, Obadina stated that he owned Almond Projects Limited, Intraflow Consulting, Terminal Zero Development Limited, Sunphos Africa Limited, Green Cowrie Energy, Giganorth East Limited, Ancient International, TES Power Limited, and also a director in Woks and Koi Oriental Restaurant.

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“He disclosed that he was invited by the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd.) sometime in 2013 to discuss developing a Solar Farm Project. He confirmed the receipt of NGN 2, 017,190,000 from ONSA between 13/05/2013 and 16/04/2015. He disclosed further that there was no contract award, agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government.

“He revealed that N271,600,000 (Two Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira) was transferred to his personal account with Zenith Bank, stating that the balance in the N2,17,190,000 (Two Billion, Seventeen Million, One Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira), were expended on the purchase of a plot of land in Parkview Ikoyi, purchase of a vehicle, purchase of foreign currencies from bureau de change and transfer of the procured foreign currencies to offshore accounts,” the statement further read.

He (Obadina) is said to have listed other expenditures made with the fund including the purchase of shares, payment of office rent, office running/payment of salaries, oil and gas investment, payment to travel agents, payments to his wife, and the Yobe Solar Project.

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter to February 29, and March 1, 2024, for continuation of trial.