The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police has arraigned a former Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperatives in Oyo State, Adeshile Adedeji, and two others before an Ikoyi Federal High Court over an alleged N1 billion fraud, the Unit’s spokesperson, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, has said.
The two others arraigned were Yinka Fatoki, a Director in the Ministry of Trade, Oyo State; and Kolawole Adewole, the Zonal Manager, South West, Bank of Industry.
According to Isintume-Agu, a petitioner alleged that in 2012, while the suspect was still in office, the Oyo State Government and the Bank of Industry entered into a partnership agreement known as OYSG/BOI fund to create a pool from which indigenous entrepreneurs in the state, micro and medium businesses can access credit facility.
She said the counterpart fund of the Oyo State Government in the joint venture was N500 million while that of BOI was also N500 million.
The state government approved the release of the money through the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperatives while the suspect was the commissioner.
Isintume-Agu said: “It was discovered recently that the joint contribution of the total sum of N1 billion of OYSG/BOI was domiciled with Enterprise Bank without any authorization or approval of Oyo State Government and that the account officer is the wife of the suspect, one Mrs. Abiodun Adedeji, who is a staff of the bank.
“It was revealed that the principal suspect, Hon. Kazeem Adeshile Adedeji, has the knowledge that the fund is domiciled with Enterprise Bank and that some of the fund had been fraudulently disbursed to manufacturers/companies that do not have any record with Corporate Affairs Commission.”
Isintume-Agu listed some of the companies to include: S. Adiss Steel Works Limited, Tembenatil Ventures, Josh-Tolani Ventures, Agric-Preserve (Ibadan) Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ojoo, Ibadan and God’s Grace Cooperative Investment & Credit Society Limited.
Operatives of the SFU had difficult times locating the addresses of the beneficiary companies as the “police was able to trace only one company, S. Adiss Steel Work Limited, with the address provided.
“In furtherance of investigation, it was discovered that Enterprise Bank is not among the banks used by the Oyo State Government.
“The domiciliation or placement of N1 billion by the suspect in Enterprise Bank where his wife is an Account Officer was done with intention to defraud the Oyo State Government.”
It was also discovered that N69,064,000.00 had been disbursed so far to 11 companies and that five out of the said companies are not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and that the unregistered companies have benefitted the sum of N39,390,000.00.
The arrested suspects were remanded in Ikoyi Prison and the case adjourned to October 8, 2013 for consideration of bail application.
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