After receiving N250 million, Dr. Donald Wokoma, a Special Assistant (SA) to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, allegedly failed to execute some contracts awarded to his firms in 2018.
But a source confided in Everyday.ng that the aide was fired after the Vice President ensured that he was thoroughly investigated to establish that the story was true and efforts were made for the money for the projects were retrieved from him.
“The story is a bogey”, he sdded.
It was gathered that Wokoma was a signatory to the bank accounts of the companies when he was Special Assistant to the Vice President on the National Economic Council (NEC).
A seasoned investigator at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) exposed the deal while testifying before the Justice Isa Ayo Salami Presidential Investigative Panel on Thursday.
The Justice Ayo Salami panel is a Presidential Investigative Committee examining activities of EFCCunder the stewardship of suspended Acting Chairman of the agency Ibrahim Magu between 2015 and 2020.
The anti-corruption operative, whose name is withheld for security reason, alleged that several contracts were awarded without execution and payments were made to the companies under Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The officer said the case was assigned to Special Investigation Team sitting in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) after an intelligence report was received on the ‘fraud’ which was one of the fraudulent activities at the Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2018.
But upon investigation, it was revealed that Damijay Integrated Services was awarded a contract worth about N98m, and a similar contract was awarded to another company named Eagle Technology Ltd, at the same amount of N98m.
“It was further revealed that after the payment, Eagle Tech transferred the money paid to it to Damijay. The total sum of N250m was then transferred from Damijay to Elixir Investments Partners as Investment.
In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Donald Wokoma an SA to the Vice President was the sole signatory to the account of Damijay and he, his wife and son were the shareholders of the company,” the operative disclosed.
He then added that: “Wokoma was invited to the Commission and after his initial statement was recorded, the Chairman was briefed and he requested for a written brief on the involvement of Wokoma and that he needed to inform the Vice President. He left for the Villa to the VP’s office and up until about 11 pm there was no communication from him.”
The EFCC investigator told the panel that Wokoma was detained and subsequently released on the instructions of the Chairman.
According to him, Wokoma’s regular and Diplomatic Passports were retained but were later released to Wokoma on the directives of the Chairman.
He said: “In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the contracts awarded to Damijay and Eagle Tech were never executed and the receipts provided by Wokoma as proof of purchase of items were found to be false as the said trader whom was claimed to have sold the items was traced in Portharcourt and he stated he never sold the said items.
“The 250m invested by Wokoma and traced to Elixir Invest was then placed on HOLD. Wokoma subsequently, instituted a civil suit for the hold placed on his fund to be lifted and the court-ordered sometime in November 2018 that in the absence of a court order, the hold should be lifted.
However, in same November 2018, the Commission was granted a freezing order by the court on the funds which nullified the initial order.”
The operative who is said to be one of the incorruptible investigators EFCC can boast of added that the investigation of the entire case was concluded and four separate charges were proffered against the following Brig. Gen. Boroh (rtd) and Hanafi Moriki; Sgt. Joshua Ebemeiyefa; Donald Wokoma & his company Damijay; together with Paul Ofana Santus and his companies.
According to the EFCC personnel, the four charges were then taken to the chairman. After perusal, the chairman directed that the name of Donald Wokoma be removed from the charge, and only his company be charged, while all other charges be filed as well.
“Shortly after, some of the officers investigating the case were transferred for being stumbling blocks of the soft landing intended to be given to Donald Wokoma. It was later gathered that the Chairman directed that no one should look for Donald or any of his family members since it was only Damijay that was charged.”
The officer added: “Subsequently, Donald Wokoma’s lawyer, Bar Victor Giwa wrote through the Attorney General’s Office for the lifting of the restriction of the funds and upon being served with the letter, the Chairman directed that Donald Wokoma’s name be returned to the charge.
“The Charge was subsequently amended and served on Donald Wokoma. Bar Giwa also wrote directly to the Chairman requesting again for the restriction on the funds to be lifted.
“The arraignment of Donald Wokoma is, however, pending as the matter is slated for sometime in September 2020.”
Recall that Wokoma, now a businessman, played a tape recording before the Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential Probe Panel on how some operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), popularly known as ‘Magu boys’ used a lawyer to demand a bribe of N75m to be paid into different accounts.
The businessman, Mr. Donald Wokoma of Damijay Integrated Services Limited, had tendered an affidavit of fact in support of a petition he wrote against ‘Magu Boys’ for extortion before unfreezing his account.
The EFCC had in 2018 refused to obey the order of Justice O.C. Agbaza to lift the restrictions on the account of Damijay Services Limited, after the firm had filed a suit for fundamental rights enforcement at the FCT High Court.
An Abuja-based lawyer, Barrister Victor Giwa who was allegedly involved in the deal, the Economic confidential gathered did not deny his voice in the 27 minutes tape recording that was played before the panel where he mentioned names of suspended Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu among other operatives over the bribery allegation.
Barrister Giwa was the former lawyer to the company on the case with the EFCC.
Meanwhile, in the affidavit sighted by the Economic Confidential, the businessman alleged that on or around 20th of May, 2020 Barrister Victor Giwa asked him to sign three blank cheques (valued at 25 million Naira each), which he would hand over to the people in EFCC to enable them unfreeze the account.
The petitioner had revealed that the said “Magu boys”, had sent three different bank accounts namely Cikin Gida Nigeria Limited with account number: 1771773211, at Polaris Bank; Black and Black Global Concept Limited with account number: 0259011841 with Gtbank and Amina Kigbu with account number: 2176716071 with Zenith Bank for the payment of the alleged bribe.
When the cheques were not honoured by the bank, the Magu boys requested that the businessman should execute an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (on the company’s official letterhead) in favour of the three bank accounts and later demanded for 40% of the money in the company’s account (which aggregates to One Hundred Million Naira) which the businessman outrightly rejected.
After rejecting their last demand, the businessman said that: “On the 9th of July, 2020, Mr. Mohammed Goje of EFCC called me to come to their office the next day being 10th July, 2020 (Friday). I honoured the invitation and stayed for long hours only for me to be informed by him (around 5: 09pm after I had left) that I have been charged to Court by sms and that I was to appear before the F.C.T. High Cout sitting at Lugbe by 8:30 am on Monday, 13th July, 2020 to be with a copy of the charge and arraigned simultaneously.
“He warned me via the sms to ‘endeavour to come to avoid unnecessarily embarrassment.’ On the 13th of July, 2020 while at the Lugbe High Court, I was served with an Amended Charge dated and filed on the 19th day of June, 2020 (exactly 2 days after I outrightly rejected their fresh demand of 40% of the total sum of the money in the company’s account).
“The said amended charge was signed by one ABBA MUHAMMED of Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC with Supreme Court No: (SCN046977). Upon going through the documents served on me in Court, I discovered to my chagrin that there is an earlier charge dated the 3rd day of January, 2019 and filed on the 4th day of January, 2019 signed by one AISHA A. T. HABIB from the Legal & Prosecution Department of the EFCC with Supreme Court No: SCN014045. This particular charged of 4th January, 2019 (which is over a year and five months) was never served on me.”
It went on to add that: “After presenting the petition to the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and specifically on Monday, the 6th day of August, 2020, I called Barrister VICTOR GIWA and informed him that a copy of the correspondences he has been exchanging with the operatives of the EFCC would be needed at the office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation in support of the petition.
“In response to my request as per the preceding paragraph, Barrister VICTOR GIWA told me over the phone that he has been receiving calls from agents of the EFCC and that in particular one AISHA of the EFCC was crying and pleading with him not to expose them else her career would be ruined.
“He (Barrister VICTOR GIWA) further said that some other EFCC officials, which he has been corresponding with, called him to query him on why he allowed me to write the petition to the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and demanded that the said petition (Exhibit Dami 1) be withdrawn else there would be consequences after the storm currently buffeting the Commission.
“Barrister VICTOR GIWA further told me that those EFCC officials reminded him that he is a young Lawyer and that he has a lot before him and that he should not forget that what is happening at the EFCC at the time was a tussle between the Honourable AGF and the suspended Acting Chairman of the EFCC and boasted that things would soon return to normal at the EFCC. They thereafter asked him to call me so we could have a meeting where the matter would be effectively resolved.
“On 7th August, 2020, I instructed Barrister Johnmary Jideobi to call Barrister Victor and remind him of the request I made on him the previous night. Barrister VICTOR GIWA told Barrister Johnmary Jideobi that he was not going to make the correspondences yet available to me because he had those discussions with the EFCC people in confidence and that we should not join the fray of what was/is happening because no one knows tomorrow. That he would not want to offend the people who gave him the information in confidence since he should be honourable enough not to do things that would offend them. Barrister VICTOR GIWA later told Barrister Johnmary Jideobi that he would call him back and hung up but never did that day.”
▪︎ Additional reports by PRNigeria