EFCC Lifts Off Caution On Awhua Resources Investment In Nahco Aviance

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has requested the management of Nahco Aviance Plc to lift the caution hitherto placed on the investment of Awuah Resource limited in the aviation handling company.

The order which has now freed Awhua Resources and allows its promoters to lay claim to their investment in the aviation handling company was contained in a letter dated 18 February 2021 from the nation’s anti-corruption agency to Nahco Aviance Plc.

This letter from the commission is now expected to address the grievances of the shareholders of the company who had opposed the nomination of Eyinna Okpara for the position of Non-Executive Director at Nahco Aviance’s 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for today Friday, 30th July in Lagos.

The shareholders of Nahco Aviance had opposed the nomination of Okpara for the position of Non-Executive Director based on an EFCC investigation on him, Awhua Resources and Retired Brigadier-General Umar Mohammed. They argued against the nomination adding that the company had not notified them of the clearance of the trio by the EFCC.

The EFCC had earlier in a 24 October 2016 letter asked Nahco Aviance to place caution on the investment of Awhua Resources Ltd following its investigation into the company and its promoters -, Retired Brigadier-General Umaru Mohammed and Eyinna Okpara

The EFCC’s probe which according to the letter referenced CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/CMIF/TA/VOL.2/43 and signed by Adesola Amusan, the Head, CMIF as of then, covered stockbroking firms, Registrars, banks, CAC, Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), Code of Conduct Bureau amongst others.

It stated that “The commission is currently investigating a case in which the three shareholders of your company featured prominently”.

The commission requested the Company secretary to furnish it with detailed information on the trio’s investment in Nahco Aviance, how the investments were paid for, in addition to other useful information for its investigation.

The Commission in the three-page letter accused Brigadier-General Umaru Mohammed who was then, serving military personnel but retired now, of covering his identity and shareholding in Awhua Resource Ltd in which Okpara is alleged to be part owner. The EFCC accused Umar Mohammed of trying to falsify his records at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

However, in the latest letter dated 18 February 2021 from the commission that is referenced CR: 3000/EFCC/HQ/ABJ/CMIFS/TA/VOL.16/268 and signed by Umar M. Hadejia, the Acting Director of Operation to Nahco Aviance, it requested the company secretary to remove the caution on the investments of Awhua Resources.

The one-page letter titled “Investigation Activities on Awhua Resources Ltd, Umaru Malam Mohammed and Eyinna Okpara says, “Our letters ref CR/3000/EFCC/ABJ/CMIF/TA/VOL.2/43 of 24th October 2016 and your letter dated 21st September 2020 on the above subject matter refer”.
“In view of the above, you are further requested to kindly lift the caution placed on the investments of the above-named company and persons”

The commission had earlier alleged that Umaru Mohammed made his wealth illegally through the selling of government properties at lower market price, usually, 30 per cent of the value, while the remaining percentage was paid to his company, Awhua Resources which is later laundered through the capital market”.

It alleged further that Brigadier-General Umaru Mohammed and Captain Eyinna Okpara are both signatories to Awhua Resources Ltd and Umeu Nigeria Ltd while the duo and Mohammed’s son are the shareholders”.

The commission also noted that the total emoluments and allowances of Umaru Mohammed from the date of purchase of the shares and 2016 were N60 million, alleging that the duo fraudulently purchased N2 billion worth of shares of publicly quoted companies between 2015 and 2016.

“That from inception to 2016, a total inflow of N2,613,488,174.92 and $1,750,452.62 was observed in the duo and companies’ account”, EFCC alleged.

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