The Central Bank of Nigeria paid Andy Uba, a former senator and ruling APC candidate in the 2017 Anambra governorship election, N2. 4 billion from the arms procurement fraud that enveloped President Goodluck Jonathan’ s administration, according to papers obtained by Peoples Gazette.
According to bank documents obtained by The Gazette, the Office of the National Security Adviser paid Southland Associates Ltd N2, 440, 959, 000 through its Zenith account number 5070363103 via the CBN on November 8, 2014.
Even though the disgraced former NSA Sambo Dasuki signed a transfer order, the objective of the transaction was not revealed. According to one of our informants, Mr. Uba informed the NSA that he could transfer military peripherals through Southland Associates, an oil and gas corporation. In contrast, he failed to deliver the necessary equipment.
Mr. Uba began transferring funds from Southland Associates’ account to other bank accounts held by himself and proxies, according to data. Southland Associates had less than N24 million in its account in the months leading up to the N2. 4 billion transfer, indicating that it was not doing much business before the windfall from Boko Haram- related funds.
Mr. Uba allegedly moved part of the funds abroad to maintain an airplane, according to records. N40. 9 million was sent abroad for aircraft title insurance on October 2, 2014, and N41. 8 million was sent for the same purpose on December 12, 2014.
In 2014, Mr. Uba transferred N372. 8 million to a company named Just T- Shirt for unknown reasons, though it appears to be part of a rush to drain the N2. 4 billion. Chike Okeke, Mr. Uba’ s long- time partner, amassed about N700 million in multiple bank accounts linked to him. Mr. Uba allegedly withdrew N15 million and N16 million into his private bank accounts in at least two transactions, according to bank records.
The corruption probe has been kept under wraps. On August 24, 2015, three months after taking office as president, Mr. Buhari formed the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces as part of his pledge to ” root out corruption and irregularities in Nigeria’ s public sector. ”
In the months following its inauguration, however, members of the panel detected fraud involving Mr. Buhari’ s buddy, and the president attempted to keep it secret. Despite court orders to release them on bond, only members of the opposition and other prominent critics of the government were wrongfully arrested, accused, and imprisoned for months.
Mr. Uba was one of the individuals whose involvement in the fraud was concealed. Former Chief of Army Staff Abdulrahman Dambazau, who served as Mr. Buhari’ s interior minister from 2015 to 2019, and Tukur Buratai, who served as Chief of Army Staff from July 2015 to January 2021, were both exempt from fraud accusations, according to our sources.
According to a source, Mr. Uba’ s involvement was kept hidden by the presidency since he was seen as the president’ s ” main enforcer in the South- East, ” where the administration is largely despised for its sectarian agenda. Mr. Uba did not reply to inquiries for comment between Thursday morning and Thursday evening. Instead, he directed all inquiries to Mr. Uba. A request for comment on the CBN’ s role was not responded to by a representative for the bank.
According to the Gazette, the US seized approximately $6. 1 million in arms procurement funds after a hired arms supplier pled guilty to offenses involving unlawful trafficking in military- grade weapons and money laundering.
A source close to Mr. Uba provided anonymously to The Gazette details of Mr. Uba’ s unwillingness to report Southland Associates, the N2. 4 billion windfall from the CBN, and the presidency’ s cover- up. The information was sent in two different messages overnight to the anonymous tips email listed on The Gazette’ s website.
Writers double- checked the tips and found them to be accurate and comprehensive. According to data reviewed by The Gazette, Mr. Uba appeared to have committed two further violations for which it was unclear whether he would be charged.
While serving as President Olusegun Obasanjo’ s special assistant on special assignments and domestic affairs, Mr. Uba created Southland Associates in 2001. According to bank documents, Mr. Uba continued to run Southland Associates while a senator from 2011 to 2015, in violation of the Nigerian Constitution, which prohibits public officers from owning private businesses.
According to Part I, Fifth Schedule, Section 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution, ” a public officer shall not engage or participate in the management or operation of any private business, profession, or trade unless he is employed on a full- time basis. ”
In his asset declarations for 2011 and 2015, Mr. Uba listed Sentrex Industry Limited, which he purchased in Ibadan in 2007 for N400 million. He also claimed to be the owner of Linc Nigeria Limited, a tank farm located in Calabar.
The only companies the Anambra politician claimed to own when he testified under oath before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were the two. Due to allegations of corruption, the APC nominee was denied entry to the United Kingdom in 2008.
While serving as Mr. Obasanjo’ s aide, Mr. Uba was accused of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars into the United States using a presidential jet. He called the claims into question.