Adamu Yusuf, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says that Tuoyo Omatsuli former Executive Director of Projects at Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), collected the sum of N3.65 billion from Starline Consultancy Services Limited.
In an affidavit he deposed to, he said Omatsuli received a bribe of N3,645,000,000 from a consultant to the NDDC, Starline Consultancy Services Limited.
According to the anti-graft agency, Starline Consultancy Services Limited was engaged by the NDCC to help it recover its statutory 3 per cent annual budgets of oil and gas producing companies in the Niger Delta. It was agreed that Starline Consultancy Services Limited would be paid 10 per cent commission on the total funds recovered from the oil and gas companies for the NDDC.
“Mr. Omatsuli agreed and received kickbacks (bribe) to the tune of N3,645,000,000.000 from Starline Consultancy Services Limited through Building Associates Limited, whose alter ego is Francis Momoh (an ally of Mr. Omatsuli),” Yusuf said.
He said to recover the funds, Starline Consultancy Services Limited sought and got the help of the House of Representatives Committee on NDCC, which wrote several letters to the oil and gas companies to demand that they pay their statutory levies to the NDDC.
He added that Starline Consultancy Services Limited eventually succeeded in the job and was paid a total N10,218,019,060.59 as its 10 per cent commission between August 22, 2014 and June 25, 2015.
The anti-graft agency also presented a table showing that Omatsuli allegedly received kickbacks 11 times between August 28, 2014 and September 8, 2015 from Starline Consultancy Services Limited. The investigator said some of the approvals to pay the consultancy fees were signed by Omatsuli as the ED, Project of the NDDC.
The Federal High Court in Lagos had also granted the temporary forfeiture of four landed properties linked to Omatsuli on May 17.
The four properties, located in highbrow Lekki Peninsula Scheme area of Lagos, were valued at N846.03m. They are Block 117 Plot 4 Lekki Peninsula Scheme; TPAO 992 Ikate Ancient City, Eti-Osa LGA, Lagos; Plots 1 – 18 Block 43, TPAO 992, Ikate Ancient City, Lekki Peninsula, Eti-Osa, Lagos; Plot 1B, Northern Business District, Lekki Pennisula scheme 1 and Plot 1 Block 1, Lekki Peninsula Residential scheme 1 Eti-Osa Local Government Area.
Justice Chuka Obiozor made an order for the temporary forfeiture of the properties on Thursday, following an ex-parte application by the EFCC as the anti-graft agency claimed that the properties were reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.
Mr. Ekene Iheanacho, counsel for the EFCC, told Justice Obiozor that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to order that Omatsuli’s Lekki Peninsula landed properties be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
After listening to him, Justice Obiozor granted the order and directed the anti-graft agency to publish it in a national daily.
He adjourned till June 19, 2018 for anyone interested in the properties to show up in court to convince him why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.