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EXCLUSIVE: EFCC probes ‘suspended’ NSITF MD, directors, others for alleged multi-billion naira fraud

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EXCLUSIVE: EFCC probes 'suspended' NSITF MD, directors, others for alleged multi-billion naira fraud
NSITF MD, Adebayo Somefun

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently probing the ‘suspended’ management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) for alleged N3.4 billion scam.

Top on the EFCC radar is the managing director cum chief executive of the NSITF, Adebayo Somefun, and four directors of the agency which include; the executive director, Finance and Investment, Jasper Ikedi Azuatalam; executive director, Operations, Olukemi Nelson and executive director, Administration, Tijani Darazo Sulaiman.

Other management staff who are also facing probe by the EFCC are the general manager, Administration/Human Resources/Maintenance, Mr Olusegun Bashorun; the general manager, Finance, Mr Lawan Tahir; the general manager, Claims and Compensation,  Mr Chris Esedebe; and the deputy general manager, Investment and Treasury Management, Mr Olodotun Adegbite.

The deputy general manager, Finance and Accounts, Mr Emmanuel Sike; deputy general manager/acting head, Legal, Mrs Olutoyin Arokoyo; deputy general manager, Administration, Ms Dorathy Tukura; and assistant general manager, Internal Audit, Mrs Victoria Ayantuga are the others facing probe.

In a petition to the anti-graft agency by the minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, it was alleged that the suspended management staff of the NSITF allegedly embezzled the funds while pretending to be organising non-existent staff training.

It was alleged that the said funds were squandered by the officials on non- existent staff training split into about 196 different consultancy contracts in order to evade the Ministerial Tenders Board and Federal Executive Council approval. It was further alleged that a “non-existent unexecuted N2.3bn was documented and paid, while N1.1bn is awaiting payment without any job done, all totalling N3.4 billion.

“Same goes for projects for construction of 14 zonal offices in 14 states running into billions of naira – a policy issue being done without board or ministerial knowledge not to talk of approval. This was done in 2019 by the MD and his three-man executive,” the petition read.

Recall, the federal government through the supervising minister of the NSITF, Dr. Ngige, suspended the agency’s management staff over corruption allegations.

The government asked the executive directors to hand over to the most senior general managers, while the managing director, Somefun, was asked to hand over to the most senior officer in the organisation.

The minister further approved and directed that general manager, Ibadan Region, Mrs Temitope Akinwale, to take charge as acting executive director of Finance.

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