Aid Agency Drags Country Director, Pastor, 2 Others To EFCC Over Multi-Million Fraud

A former Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Mr. Fred Adeola Omosebi and a pastor, Owolabi Oyeleke Alabi as well as two others, Tolulope Omosebi and Tobi Owolabi, have been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly fraudulently misappropriating funds of the agency running into several thousands of dollars and millions of Euros.

In a petition to the EFCC by the ADRA through the firm of Heptagon and Associates based in Abuja, said that between 2014 and 2017, it received over $300, 000 for projects execution in Ubakala with Pastor Alabi, Mr. Fred Owosebi and Mr. Amos Ibedu as signatories.

The petitioners alleged that the trio misappropriated the funds and diverted same into private accounts.

The same scenario was said to have happened again between 2016 and 2018 involving 2.7 million Euros.

“ADRA Nigeria has a project implementation area in Northern Nigeria: Maiduguri. The applicable financial policy of ADRA Nigeria states that “each work advance must be cleared by returning the appropriate receipts and any remaining funds within one week unless other arrangements are made with the supervisor according to financial policy of ADRA Nigeria also specified that “all proper documentation must be provided before approval of check one week unless other arrangements are made with the superior.

“Incidentally, the Country Director of ADRA Nigeria Mr. Fredrick Omosebi breached the financial policy of ADRA Nigeria. Several instances abound,” the petition reads.

“Several cheques amounting to NGN2.774, 000 (Two MILLION, Seven hundred and seventy four thousand Naira only) was withdrawn from ADRA Bank Account transferred to the account of the former Project Accountant Mr. Gbenga Ayeni and paid to the Country Director Mr. Fredrick Omosebi. The Country Director acknowledged receipts of the funds. Available documents do not show that there was explanation by the Country Director as the flow of transactions, the procedure relating to procurement, payment to suppliers/beneficiaries in accordance with applicable policies.

“A contract of NGN2,328,000 (Two million, three hundred and twenty eight thousandNaira only) sighed with Sharutea Investment for car rental. Two transactions amounting to NGN100,000 (One hundred thousand Naira only) and NGN200, 000 (Two hundred thousand Naira only) were supposed to be paid to vendor for car rental. The said payment was made in cash by the Country Director.

“There is overpayment of a vendor with pre-signed cheque to the tune of NGN95,600 (Ninety five thousand sis hundred Naira only)

“The Country Director authorized a payment for himself for the purpose of school fees at Babcock University amounting to NGN1,125, 000 (One million, one hundred twenty five thousand Naira only) without board approval.

“The Country Director incurred travel expenses of NGN399,178, 00 (Three hundred and ninety nine thousand, one hundred and seventy eight Naira only) that he attended an annual meeting of ADRA Worldwide while he did not attend.

“Payment by ADRA Nigeria of staff without supporting documents totaling NGN9,891,500 (Nine million, eight hundred and ninety one thousand five hundred Naira only).

“Further it is our clients grievance that Mr. Fred the Country Director siphoned money by paying N90, 000 monthly to his wife who was not a staff, through a Diamond Bank Account Number 0093891681 in her name, Omosebi Tolulope Ruth.

“Staff of ADRA Nigeria were compelled illegally to remit 20% of their salaries into a UBA Account Number 2017025920 it was called “sustestation” this illegal deduction was to the knowledge of the Board Chairman,” the petitioners alleged.

According to the petition, “Several Bank accounts was opened and strangers were made signatories to these accounts. The foreign currencies were exchanged in the black market and the exchange rate was not reported.

In the petition dated January 13, 2020, the petitioners prayed the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to use his office to cause an investigation into the allegations and bring the alleged perpetrators to book.

Findings by our correspondent at the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja showed that while the agency acknowledged receipt of the petition, its acting spokesperson, Mr. Tony Orilade, would not comment on the status of the petition.

Also, an FCT Upper Area Court has issued a warrant of arrest for the principal suspect, Fred Omosebi following criminal compliant by the ADRA.

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