By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday disclosed that former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, was arrested by the Commission on Thursday for pilfering the Ecological and National Security funds to the tune of over N71billion.
The facts behind the arrest of the former President of the Senate emerged yesterday, through a statement issued by the spokesman of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujiaren.
Mr. Anyim was arrested by some operatives of the EFCC, at about noon Thursday November 16.
The security agency said the swooped on the politician after he failed to honour a 10-am appointment at the Agency’ headquaerters. The arrest, according to sources, took Anyim by surprise as the EFCC team, armed with a Warrant, immediately executed a search on the property during which they recovered documents relevant to the investigation.
Anyim who was still quizzed at the time of filing this report, is accused of abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.
Sources at the EFCC familiar with the investigations, also revealed to LEADERSHIP Weekend that the former SGF who was a one-time President of the Nigerian Senate, is also accused among others of false assets declaration, the receipt of N520m from the Office of the National Security Adviser on the eve of the 2015 general election “for unclear reasons and using proxies and companies in which he had interest to corner contracts from the ecological fund”.
The source listed companies linked to Anyim and through which he obtained contracts or laundered proceeds from the ecological fund to include: Foundation Years Limited, Precious Integrated, Precious Petroleum, Mak & Mak, Chap Construction, Eldyke Engineering, Pryke Limited, Chipa Nigeria Limited, Prima A11 Limited, Pima International, Chanto Engineering, Ishiagu Microfinance Bank, Mulak Ventures, Vitro Engineering and Tip Top Nigeria.
According to an EFCC source, “Anyim was SGF from May 2011 to May 29, 2015, during this period, specifically May 2012 to May 2015, the SGF Ecological Fund Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria received an inflow of N58,146,983,677.85. From this fund, three of the companies linked to Anyim, Foundation Years, Obis Associate and Eldyke Engineering received contracts worth over N13billion”.
The source disclosed further that “Foundation Years alone received a net payment of N10,308,017,838.85 between 2014 and 2015. Curiously, on receiving the fund, Foundation Years and another Anyim company, Br-Kthru made several transfers to 37 entities. Some of the organizations and individuals have no nexus at all with ecological issues. Investigators are probing the reasons behind the wild disbursement.
Recall that prior to his arrest on these charges, a Committee of the House of Representatives had accused the ex-SGF of several cases of alleged fraud.
Though the ex-Senate President had gone to court to challenge the indictment, the House Committee on Federal Capital Territory then chaired by ex-lawmaker Hon. Herman Hembe (APC-Benue), stood its grounds.
The subject of the Reps’ panel did not however include charges for which Anyim is currently facing the music at the EFCC.