A coalition, Civil Society Network against Corruption (CSNAC), has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over an alleged case of money laundering in the banking transaction involving the National Assembly between 2009 and 2015.

In the petition, signed by CSNAC chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition stated that the federal legislature led by the Clerk, Salisu Maikasuwa, his predecessor, Yemi Ogunyomi, and their representatives, extensively violated the Money Laundering Act (2004, 2011) in banking transactions leading to the withdrawals of about N42 billion of public funds.

Taking its cue from a report published by an online Newspaper, Premium Times, dated 30th December, 2015, Suraju noted that it is unfortunate that lawmakers and the parliament, paid billions of naira from the nation’s resources as remuneration for law making.

Quoting the report, CSNAC said, “the excessive cash withdrawals spanned the tenures of three Clerks to the National Assembly — Nasiru Arab, Yemi Ogunyomi and the incumbent, Mr. Maikasuwa — with the largest withdrawals made during the reign of the last two.

“Between 2009 and 2015, MessersArab, Ogunyomi and Maikasuwa, listed as permanent secretary/clerk in the withdrawal documents, withdrew a total of N6.37 billion from GTB and UBA. While the sum of N4.78 billion was withdrawn by both men from GTB between September 9, 2009 and August 14, 2015, a total of N1.59 billion was withdrawn from the UBA between January 1, 2011 and August 8, 2015 by Mr. Maikasuwa.

“Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and 49 others who were members of the Senate Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution also made large withdrawals. . The committee made two transfers from the UBA account – N1.75 billion on November 17, 2014 and N878.6m on February 2, 2015. This does not violate the Money Laundering Act but the purpose of the withdrawals remained unclear.

“Senators Ayogu Eze(Enugu), Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia), Anthony Manze and Umaru Dahiru (Sokoto) were also beneficiaries of the withdrawals by the committee. However their transactions did not violate the Act but smack of corruption.

“In the House, some beneficiaries include the current Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, former Majority Leader, MulikatAdeola, Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, Chinyere Igwe, EziucheUbani, Umar Bature, Mohammed Sani Tahir, EhiogieIdahosa-West. The offices of the former Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal and his former deputy, Emeka Ihedioha were also beneficiaries. They were paid N25m and N8.4m, respectively from the Guaranty Trust Bank account.”

Expressing its displeasure on the development, CSNAC said, “It is quite unfortunate that lawmakers and the Parliament, paid billions of naira from the nation’s resources as remuneration for law making, will turn out to be the chief violators of the laws they enacted. It is beyond imagination and heart rendering, reading the gravity of violations and movement of cash by the legislators, some of which were for reasons unknown.

“CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding that the commission conducts a thorough investigation into the issues raised herein, as well as ensure that the appropriate punishments are meted out to all the perpetrators; including the banks that allowed these infractions continue without reporting to the appropriate authority.”
4th January, 2016

The Chairman,
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
No. 5, Fomella Street,
Off Adetokunboh Ademola Crescent,
Wuse II, Abuja.

Dear Sir,

REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, UBA AND GUARANTY TRUST BANK FOR GROSS VIOLATION OF THE MONEY LAUNDERING ACT 2011

Civil Society Network against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption and contribute towards the enthronement of transparency, accountability, probity and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
In its report of 30th December, 2015 the Premium Times, an online newspaper reported an alleged massive case of money laundering in the banking transaction involving the National Assembly. The report stated that between 2009 and 2015, the management arm of the federal legislature led by the Clerk, Salisu Maikasuwa, his predecessor, Yemi Ogunyomi, and their representatives, extensively violated the Money Laundering Act (2004, 2011) in banking transactions leading to the withdrawals of about N42 billion of public funds.

Furthermore, a huge chunk of the funds were withdrawn at different times in cash from Senate Accounts Numbers 321/212606/1/1/0 and 321/212606/1/1/3; House of Representatives Account Numbers 321/212606/1/1/1 and 321/212606/1/1/2; National Assembly Management Account Number 321/212603/1/1/0; as well as the National Assembly Service Wide vote Account 326/253550/1/1/0 and 326/253525/1/1/0, all domiciled in the Guaranty Trust Bank. The withdrawals were made without recourse to the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and 2004.

Other huge withdrawals were also made from Account Number 1007323323 domiciled in the United Bank for Africa within the same period. While a total of N26.69 billion involving 149 beneficiaries was drawn from the GTB accounts, N15.85 billion, involving 222 beneficiaries, was taken out of UBA. The cash withdrawals, at times higher than what is allowed by law, were so frequent that from 2013, UBA began to place transaction charges on them. Between October 3, 2013 and August 19, 2015, the bank realized a total of N83.87m from the charges imposed on the transactions. However, Guaranty Trust Bank failed to apply charges as required by regulations, allowing the beneficiaries to make withdrawals against the law.
Part 1, Subsection 1 of the Money Laundering Act 2011 states that “No person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding- (a) N5, 000,000.00 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or (b) N10, 000,000.00 or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate”.

It also states, “Any Financial Institution or Designated-Financial Institution that fails to comply with the above provision by making the appropriate compliance report to the regulatory authorities commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N250, 000:00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) for an individual and not more than N1, 000,000 (One Million Naira) for a body corporate, for each day that the contravention continues unabated.” While the 2004 version of the law allowed a cash payment and withdrawal limit of N500, 000 for an individual and N2million for in the case of a corporation.
According to the report, the excessive cash withdrawals spanned the tenures of three Clerks to the National Assembly — Nasiru Arab, Yemi Ogunyomi and the incumbent, Mr. Maikasuwa — with the largest withdrawals made during the reign of the last two. Between 2009 and 2015, Messers Arab, Ogunyomi and Maikasuwa, listed as permanent secretary/clerk in the withdrawal documents, withdrew a total of N6.37 billion from GTB and UBA. While the sum of N4.78 billion was withdrawn by both men from GTB between September 9, 2009 and August 14, 2015, a total of N1.59 billion was withdrawn from the UBA between January 1, 2011 and August 8, 2015 by Mr. Maikasuwa.
A total of 61 transactions involving N222.95m were made by Mr. Ogunyomi in the GTB account between May 4 and December 20, 2010. Within this period, the sums of N9.84m, N547, 000, N494, 000, N7.88m, N7.98m, N8.84m and N4m totaling N39.59 were withdrawn in cash on the same day, May 27, 2010, contrary to the money laundering law. Other transactions include the sums of:
June 16th, 2010- N1.97m, N7.06m and N2.20m totaling N11.24m
July 22nd, 2010- N4.39m, N4.64m and N4.56m totaling N13.59m
August 12th, 2010- N4.59m, N4.83m, N4.04m, N4.24m, N4.24m, N4.80m, N4.59m totaling N31.33m
October 5th, 2010- N7.32 million
October 19, 2010- On five occasions, in one day, the same amount N4.95m, totaling N24.75m was withdrawn from the account.
October 22nd, 2010- the sum of N23m
November 4, 2010- N14m
After the enactment of the 2011 Act by same Parliamnent, the violations of the Act still continued with Mr. Maikasuwa as clerk. In 2012 alone, the clerk withdrew a total of N124.14m in cash from Guaranty Trust Bank. He withdrew the following sums:
May 17, 2012- N1.99m, N1.94m, N795,000.00, N1.64m, N4.10m, N4.80m and N4.90m, totaling N20.18m
May 21, 2012-N4.60m, N4.36m, N4.20m, N4.20m, N4.95m and N4.64m totaling N26.95m
May 23, 2012- N4.90m, N4.14m, N4.10m, N4m, N4.2m and N4.40m totaling N25.81m
June 7, 2012, a total sum of N15.71m in 4 transactions
June 11, 2012, a total sum of N15.2m in 4 transactions
June 18, 2012, a total sum of N14m in 3 transactions
June 27,2012, a total sum of N15m in 4 transactions
July 12, 2012, a total sum of N14.26m in 4 transactions
August 15, 2012, a total sum of N21.05m in 5 transactions
August 29, 2012, a total sum of N22.95m in 5 transactions
In 2013, the clerk also made the following withdrawals:
July 26, 2013, a total sum of N102.76m in 23 transactions
July 26, 2013, a total sum of N39.28m in 9 transactions
November 6, 2013, a total sum of N150m in 34 transactions
November 11, 2013, a total sum of N33m in 9 transactions.
In 2014, he also made the following withdrawals:
February 14, 2014, a total sum of N44m in 12 transactions
February 17, 2014, a total sum of N146.78m in 36 transactions
May 14, 2014, a total sum of N169.16m in 47 transactions
May 15, 2014, a total sum of N38.19m in 9 transactions
December 5, 2014, a total sum of N37.48m in 8 transactions
December 8, 2014, a total sum of N36.15m in 8 transactions
December, 14, 2014, a total of N17.95m in four transactions
In 2015, he made the following withdrawals:
January 13, 2015, a total sum of N18.83m in five transactions
February 17, 2015, a total sum of N17.03m in four transactions
February 18, 2015, the sum of N33m and N17.03m in four transactions respectively
February 19, 2015, the sum of N56.82m
February, 25, 2015, a total sum of N14.45m in four transactions
March 3, 2015, a total sum of N14.78m in four transactions
March 17, 2015, the sum of N50m
March 17, 2015, a total sum of N70m in 16 transactions
April 2, 2015, a total sum of N126m in 30 transactions
April 7, 2015, the sum of N26.28m
April 15, 2015, the sum of N15m
May 15, 2015, a total sum of N23m in five transactions
May 25, 2015, a total sum of N20.31m in five transactions
July 13, 2015, a total sum of N30m in seven transactions
July 14, 2015, a total sum of N33.50m in eight transactions
August 1, 2015, a total of N17.05m in four transactions
August 4, 2015, a total sum of N15.16m in four transactions
August 17, 2015, a total sum of N16m in four transactions
August 18, 2015, the sum of N23.57m

Furthermore, in the last four years, the clerk made 375 transactions totaling N1.59 billion through the UBA account, some of which also violated the provisions of the Act. Some of the transactions were however done by cheque. For instance, he withdrew N6.6m on May 24, 2011 and N7.5m on a date not specified as against N5m allowed by law.

The report also stated that Mr. Bala Abdullahi also contravened provisions of the Act. Between February 2011 and April 2015 he withdrew a total sum of N1.93 billion from the Guaranty Trust Bank account alone. Also, Mr. Siyaka Abdulwahab Sadiq carried out a total of 42 transactions to the tune of N2.55 billion, some of which violated the provisions of the Act. Mr. Donald Esiet withdrew a total of N2.11 billion in 387 transactions from UBA between January 2011 and September 2014 on behalf of the permanent secretary/clerk. Some of the transactions also contravened provisions of the Act.

Furthermore, Eunice Nnate withdrew a total of N593.83m from GTB, on behalf of the permanent secretary/clerk. Mr. MacDonald Odibo, on his part, made cash withdrawals of N54.36m in 11 transactions from GTB on May 19, 2010; N50.45m in 12 transactions on August 4, 2010; N124m in 26 transactions on August 10, 2010; N121.01m in 27 transactions on August 11, 2010; N14.74m in three transactions on August 12, 2010; N125m in 26 transactions. Other beneficiaries include Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mr. Sani Omolori, Ishaqu Jamilu Mohammed, Sani Atara, Emmanuel Omgbadu, Mathew Sani Okureka and so on.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and 49 others who were members of the Senate Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution also made large withdrawals. . The committee made two transfers from the UBA account – N1.75 billion on November 17, 2014 and N878.6m on February 2, 2015. This does not violate the Money Laundering Act but the purpose of the withdrawals remained unclear. Senators Ayogu Eze (Enugu), Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia), Anthony Manze and Umaru Dahiru (Sokoto) were also beneficiaries of the withdrawals by the committee. However their transactions did not violate the Act but smack of corruption.

In the House, some beneficiaries include the current Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, former Majority Leader, Mulikat Adeola, Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, Chinyere Igwe, Eziuche Ubani, Umar Bature, Mohammed Sani Tahir, Ehiogie Idahosa-West. The offices of the former Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal and his former deputy, Emeka Ihedioha were also beneficiaries. They were paid N25m and N8.4m, respectively from the Guaranty Trust Bank account.
It is quite unfortunate that lawmakers and the Parliament, paid billions of naira from the nation’s resources as remuneration for law making, will turn out to be the chief violators of the laws they enacted. It is beyond imagination and heart rendering, reading the gravity of violations and movement of cash by the legislators, some of which were for reasons unknown.

CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding that the commission conducts a thorough investigation into the issues raised herein, as well as ensure that the appropriate punishments are meted out to all the perpetrators; including the banks that allowed these infractions continue without reporting to the appropriate authority.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours faithfully,

Olanrewaju Suraju
Chairman