A former Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Mr. Fred Adeola Omosebi, has been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alongside a cleric, Owolabi Oyeleke Alabi, and two others, Tolulope Omosebi and Tobi Owolabi, for allegedly fraudulently misappropriating agency’s funds running into several thousands of dollars and millions of Euros.
ADRA in a petition to the commission, through its lawyers, Heptagon and Associates, said that between 2014 and 2017, it received over $300, 000 for projects execution in Ubakala with Pastor Alabi, Mr. Fred Owosebi and Mr. Amos Ibedu as signatories.
The petitioners alleged that the trio misappropriated the funds and diverted same into private accounts, even as the same scenario was said to have happened again between 2016 and 2018 involving 2.7 million Euros.
In the petition dated January 13, 2020, the petitioners prayed the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to use his office to cause an investigation into the allegations and bring the alleged perpetrators to book.
This is as findings by our correspondent at the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja indicated that while the agency acknowledged receipt of the petition, its acting spokesperson, Mr. Tony Orilade, would not comment on the status of the petition.
Also, an FCT Upper Area Court has issued a warrant of arrest for the principal suspect, Fred Omosebi following criminal complaint by the ADRA.
The petition sighted by our correspondent read in part: “ADRA Nigeria has a project implementation area in Northern Nigeria: Maiduguri. The applicable financial policy of ADRA Nigeria states that “each work advance must be cleared by returning the appropriate receipts and any remaining funds within one week unless other arrangements are made with the supervisor according to financial policy of ADRA Nigeria also specified that “all proper documentation must be provided before approval of check one week unless other arrangements are made with the superior.
“Incidentally, the Country Director of ADRA Nigeria, Mr. Fredrick Omosebi, breached the financial policy of ADRA Nigeria. Several instances abound,” the petition read in part.
“Several cheques amounting to NGN2.774, 000 was withdrawn from ADRA bank account transferred to the account of the former Project Accountant Mr. Gbenga Ayeni and paid to the Country Director Mr. Fredrick Omosebi.
“The Country Director acknowledged receipts of the funds. Available documents do not show that there was explanation by the Country Director as the flow of transactions, the procedure relating to procurement, payment to suppliers/beneficiaries in accordance with applicable policies.”
The agency further alleged that: “A contract of N2,328, signed with Sharutea Investment for car rental. Two transactions amounting to NGN100,000 and NGN200, 000 were supposed to be paid to vendor for car rental. The said payment was made in cash by the Country Director. There is overpayment of a vendor with pre-signed cheque to the tune of NGN95,600.
“The Country Director authorized a payment for himself for the purpose of school fees at Babcock University amounting to NGN1,125, 000 without board approval.
“The Country Director incurred travel expenses of NGN399,178, 00 that he attended an annual meeting of ADRA Worldwide while he did not attend. Payment by ADRA Nigeria of staff without supporting documents totalling NGN9,891,500.”
The petition also stated that, “Further it is our clients grievance that Mr. Fred the Country Director siphoned money by paying N90,000 monthly to his wife who was not a staff, through a Diamond Bank Account Number 0093891681 in her name, Omosebi Tolulope Ruth.
“Staff of ADRA Nigeria were compelled illegally to remit 20% of their salaries into a UBA Account Number 2017025920 it was called “sustestation” this illegal deduction was to the knowledge of the Board Chairman.”
According to the petition, “Several Bank accounts was opened and strangers were made signatories to these accounts. The foreign currencies were exchanged in the black market and the exchange rate was not reported.”