BABANGIDA’S SON’S NAME APPEARS ON SOME GLOBACOM OWNERSHIP DOCUMENTS

Telecoms

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has explained that his commission has not yet concluded the investigation into the share ownership of one of the nation's Global Systems of Mobil Communications (GSM), Globacom.

Speaking on the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) monitored in Kaduna last week, Ribadu said his Commission had yet to unravel the real ownership of the company. "The matter is still on up till now. We saw the documents concerning the owners of Globacom, but all of them denied that they are the owners," he said.

Commenting on the claim by the management of Globacom that Mohammed Babangida, son of former military President Ibrahim Babangida, is not a part owner of the company, Ribadu stated that the invitation of Mohammed by his Commission was part of the efforts aimed at unravelling the actual owners of the telecommunication outfit.

He explained that the extension of invitation to Mohammed Babangida was because his name appeared in some of the documents of Globacom, querying: "How come the documents show that he is? If you want to establish a company in Nigeria, there are laws and procedures regarding ownership; you must submit the names of the owners of the company.

"The people who have the company are those included in the registration of the company. The address they gave has not changed.

"We called him (Mohammed) and showed him all these things. We asked him why he was still denying that he was not one of the owners of the company in spite of all the documents. We asked him whether he sold his shares to them; if he sold it where is the money, the money you invested in the company, where did you get it?" Asked to comment on the allegation that Mike Adenuga, Chairman of Globacom, had fled the country, Ribadu said: "We are looking for him, the day we asked him to come back, he left this country. Up till today, we are looking for him."

The EFCC boss also refuted allegations that his Commission is being used to hunt the Vice President, arguing that, "Are you saying that we should keep quiet and close our eyes to a case like this; we should not pursue the truth? "Are you saying that for instance, if America say we should investigate this (VP) case, then we say we cannot do it? Haba!"

The Commission's chairman accused the Vice President of not addressing the issues raised in the commission's report that indicted him of financial impropriety. Ribadu said it was wrong for Atiku not to own up to the Marine Float account and stop dragging President Obasanjo into it, explaining: "The account was opened in 1992. In 1992 there was no Obasanjo, he was not even in prison at that time talk more of coming out to be President. "Even the money they are talking about; the one given by Dariye was given to Marine Float in 2001, and that time there was no presidential campaign.

"The remaining money that was withdrawn from the bank we are talking about and deposited into Marine were done after the 2003 presidential election."

When reminded that the public would be interested in the publication of all the names of people who benefited from the account Ribadu explained: "We cannot bring in things we were not asked to do. This was the aspect we were asked to investigate. This is the money we are investigating. We have traced where the money went, the money was not used for election.

"What the investigation brought to us is that the Vice President went and spoke with this member of the House of Representatives in America, Mr. Jefferson. We discovered that it was the Vice President who authorized that the PTDF money should be taken to the banks."

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