The Director General of the Nigerian tourism development corporation, NTDC, Folarin Coker and his wife, Aisha Rimi, have been accused of stealing N3bn, property of the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority (LSGNPPA).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleged this while asking a federal high court sitting in Lagos to freeze the bank accounts of the LSGNPPA until investigation was concluded on the alleged heist.
Justice Mohammed Idris on Monday granted the application of the anti-graft agency and ordered the freezing of the Lagos agency’s bank accounts and 32 bank accounts of companies which were allegedly used to divert the N3 billion from LSGNPPA.
The EFCC said its preliminary investigation revealed that the funds were diverted when Coker, was the managing director of LSGNPPA.
The companies whose accounts were also frozen include a law firm, Rimi and Partners. The EFCC said Coker’s wife, Aisha Rimi, was the sole proprietor.
Olamide Sadiq, the EFCC investigator, who deposed to an affidavit in support, said the probe into the alleged fraud was informed by an intelligence received sometime in 2017 by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.
Sadiq said there were suspicious transactions on the account of Rimi and Partners as there were “heavy inflows” in excess of N3 billion from LSGNPPA into the account.
Sadiq said investigations by EFCC revealed that Rimi and Partners had 10 bank accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank.
“Mr. Folorunsho Coker was as at that time the managing director of the 1st respondent — LSGNPPA,” he said.
“He was also the husband of Aisha Rimi, one of the signatories to the accounts of the 2nd and 3rd respondents — Rimi and Partners and Ekosina Investment Ltd respectively.
“Further to the depositions contained in the paragraph above, I know as a fact derived during my investigations, that the said Mr. Folorunsho Coker was also a signatory to the Bank account of the 1st respondent.
“Investigations revealed that Aisha Rimi is the major partner in Rimi and Partners and she is also in control of Ekosina Investment Ltd, a company seen to have received huge transfers from the LSGNPPA.
“From preliminary investigations by the commission, the 2nd and 3rd respondents were used to divert funds from the LSGNPPA with the influence of Folorunsho Coker, who was the Managing Director of the Lagos State Agency.”
Other companies whose accounts were frozen are Ekosina Investment Ltd, SW Properties Ltd, Imira Trade and Global Services Ltd, Lofty Investment Nigeria Ltd, Pure Technical Services Ltd and Cablepoint Ltd.