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Sunday, February 5, 2023

JUST IN: Buhari sacks NIRSAL’s Managing Director Aliyu Abdulhameed over fraud allegations

President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Managing Director of the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed, over fraud allegations.

According to reports, the president removed Abdulhameed on Thursday afternoon, December 2, 2022, and hauled him out of office shortly thereafter.

Abdulhameed had allegedly been siphoning money from the establishment since he was appointed to office in 2015.

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It was gathered that the search for his replacement had begun.

“His exotic official vehicles were all withdrawn from him. He left the office in a small Ford vehicle and was grandstanding that he would soon be back,” a source privy to the development said.

In June 2022, reports of Sahara Reporters uncovered how Abdulhameed siphoned close to N1 billion using the private bank account of the agency’s Head of Finance, Idris Issa Aweda, as a conduit.

Aweda used three personal bank accounts: FCMB (4986133010), GTB (0245155058), and Stanbic IBTC (0021195810) to receive proceeds of fraud on behalf of Abdulhameed.

Although NIRSAL is not a security agency, Abdulhameed fraudulently ordered payment of money for “advance for security challenge in the North-East on the farms fields”, “security challenge in the North-Central on the farms fields”, “advance for external security issue armoured car” and “advance for security challenge in the South-East on the farms fields”.

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He also summarily “dismissed” the organisation’s Acting Head of Internal Audit, Mr Olalekan Olusanya, in bid to conceal a deep-rooted multi-billion-naira fraud.

Abdulhameed also dismissed another staff member of the organisation, Olusola Omole, in a bid to conceal the corruption taking place under his watch.

Omole was the head of a technical unit with responsibility across the 36 states of the federation before he was removed.

NIRSAL is a $500 million non-bank financial institution, a creation of the Central Bank of Nigeria mandated to manage agribusiness-related credit risks in Nigeria.

Abdulhameed’s corrupt practices also forced the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend funding to NIRSAL last year.

The CBN has been guaranteeing all borrowings disbursed by NIRSAL, which is a parastatal of the government’s banker.

Another source said Abdulhameed also misappropriated funds earmarked for wheat distributions across the country.

It was also confirmed that Abdulhameed’s son, Imran Aliyu Abdulhameed was jailed by the United Arab Emirates government for money laundering, in case number 2018/4796.

It was further gathered that Mr Abdulhameed has been recommended for prosecution following his dismissal from office, although he has not yet been apprehended by security operatives.

According to Sahara Reporters, a statement of account was obtained which details how Imran laundered money on several occasions.

It also obtained a copy of the bail bond of the public prosecution department, the government of Ras AI Khaimah with which Imran’s release was eventually secured.

When Imran was arrested by the cops in Dubai, he was caught driving a Lamborghini Urus car, worth $400,000.00 (Four Hundred Thousand Dollars) and was wearing a designer wristwatch, Audemars Piguet, one of the world’s most expensive wristwatches valued at tens of thousands of dollars.

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