Embattled Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Engr Saleh Dunoma, who has been on the horns of dilemma in the past weeks for alleged misappropriation of public funds is now very sick and hospitalized in an Abuja hospital.
Read also: (Heads to roll in aviation sector)
OrijoReporter can authoritatively report that Dunoma, who was already due for retirement, was caught unawares as records were opened at the sundown of his career to unravel shady financial deals he was alleged to be involved in during his tenure as helmsman of FAAN.
The shock that followed the invitation of Dunoma who was already looking forward for a peaceful retirement was said to have downed his health state, leading to a collapse of system and his eventual being bed ridden.
A senior staff of the agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed to our reporter that Dunoma who was rushed to the Abuja hospital in a critical condition, is already responding to treatment.
Series of financial scam ranging from contracts padding to over invoicing was said to have been the order of day under Dunoma leadership as the FAAN boss since March 2014, a development which was said to have constituted a lethal therapy for the healthy operation of the once fledgling federal parastatal.
The recent shift of government’s searchlight to the aviation industry and eventually FAAN was said to have thrown many senior and junior staff of the agency, who have been secretly cutting corners, off balance, with some of them even attempting to escape out of the country.
Operatives of the EFCC have recently invited all the top management staff of FAAN to Abuja for questioning over alleged complicity in a N70 million fraud recently discovered at the agency.
As part of the investigation, the anti-graft agency had collected the top management staff’s Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to ensure a thorough investigation into the fraud.
Christy Olabode, a Grade 6 staff who is the major suspect in the N70 million fraud, was held and detained by the EFCC when she showed up at the agency’s headquarters.
A source close to FAAN disclosed that the younger brother to Ms. Olabode, Abdul-Shehu Obaze, a staff at the Commercial Department of FAAN in Ilorin, Kwara State, had confessed that he and his sister were not the only ones involved in the manipulation of furniture allowances between 2013 and 2016.
Obaze was said to have allegedly confessed that he had been funneling the sum of N2.5 million monthly to one of the top management staff in the agency in the past one year. He reportedly said the payoff came from the N70 million scam.
It was further gathered that some of the directors whose BVNs details were collected included the Director of Administration, Ikechi Uko, Director of Operations, Captain Henry Omeogu, Director of Human Resources, Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma, and Director of Maintenance and Engineering, Olufemi Ogunode.
Our source said that the anti-grant agency collected the BVNs of the directors in order to determine whether there had been any financial transactions between the top management staff and the suspects.
An EFCC source confided that Ms. Olabode had provided anti-graft investigators with some useful information. The source said the woman may not be released until she has provided more useful information to facilitate a thorough investigation into a number of frauds at the aviation agency.
She is alleged to have diverted at least N70 million by inserting names of non-FAAN staff into the agency’s payroll.
By Gboyega Adeoye