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Businessman petitions AGF over harassment, extortion by EFCC staff

A businessman Alhaji Abdulhamid Mahmud Zari has raised the alarm over what he described as continued extortion, harassment and intimidation by Mr Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, Head of Economic Governance of EFCC of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Alhaji Zari said that he had written 21 petitions to the EFCC without any response ‘whatsoever from the commission.’

He called on all the relevant government officials and political office holders in the country to expedite action as a matter of grave urgency to save the lofty heights and enviable achievements of the current administration especially that of the EFCC under the leadership of the acting chairman from imminent collapse.

Zari, while addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, said that his lawyer, Chief Mike Ezokhome has petitioned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on how Madaki and some staff of the EFCC have crippled his businesses and also intimidated his business partners.

A copy of the petition made available to our reporter, dated June 1, 2018, is titled: “Re:Complaint against Abubakar Aliyu Madaki for illegal extortion of money, use of office as Personal Assistant to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC and the Head of Economic Governance Section of the EFCC to perverse and truncate the course of justice ; the need for urgent intervention.”

The businessman alleged that the extortion and harassment by the said Madaki and some of his colleagues at the anti graft agency has chased away his business partners from Turkey and consequently resulted in the crippling of his businesses including an auto assembly plant worth over two billion Naira.

Accordingly, Alh Zari appealed to the government to intervene urgently by investigating the use of public office for personal benefits, extortion and perversion of course of justice against Abubakar Aliyu Madaki who also serves as Head of Economic Governance of EFCC.
He said that “bad eggs like Abubakar Madaki need to be fished out of the commission for Magu to succeed with the anticorruption war in the country.

Narrating his ordeal, Alh Zari said, that on the 26th of March, 2017, the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, visited his house in Guruduma Town and further threatened him, telling him that he (Madaki) will use his powers to deal with him.

Zari said that he was not surprised when EFCC operatives, from Procurement Fraud Section led by one Hamza Abdulahi, 2ic in the said Procurement Fraud Section, then headed by the same Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, invaded Zari’s home and business premises without a search warrant or court order.

He further alleged that the said operatives of EFCC, carted away his personal properties including his International Passport, landed property documents and countless other belongings of his client “and is still holding on to same till date.”

Zari’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, in the petition stated: “It is our client’s further instructions that the operatives from the procurement fraud section of EFCC, then headed by the same Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, informed him that the raid on his home and business premises was prompted by a whistleblower as no petition or report was shown to him.

“That despite not finding anything incriminating in the course of their illegal search of our client’s premises, they arrested our client and took him to the EFCC headquarters.

“It is our client’s instruction that he was purportedly released on bail after the said EFCC operatives forcefully extorted the sum of Four Million Naira(N4,000,000.00) from him, promising to release all the documents carted away by them in the course of the illegal search on his premises. It is further our client’s instructions that it was when the operatives of EFCC failed to release his properties to him that he consulted the law firm of Mike Ozekhome’s Chambers.

“It is further our client’s instruction that he instructed Mike Ozekhome’s Chambers to petition the Inspector General of Police in respect of the conduct of the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki.

It is further our client’s instructions that the Inspector General of Police, promptly directed the Commissioner of Police Nasarawa state, to investigate the said petition and act accordingly.

“It is further our client’s instructions that the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, using the instrumentality of the EFCC wrote the Commissioner of Police Nasarawa State, in a desperate bid to shield himself, from investigation in respect of the petition written against him and truncate the course of justice.

“That the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, rather than follow up on the investigation in respect of the petition against him, in his further desperate bid to thwart the course of justice, wrote a fresh petition through the Chambers of M.A Mahmud SAN & Co, dated 28th June, 2017.

“It our client’s further instructions that the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki using the office of the IGP, through the IGP Monitoring Unit, demanded for the transfer of the petitions written by our client, for which the IGP had already approved and directed that investigation be conducted, and necessary actions taken by the Commissioner of Police Nasarawa State.

“Our client informed us that the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki in furtherance of the said sinister plan of shielding himself from investigation and possible prosecution, succeeded in using the office of the IGP Monitoring Unit, to cause the transfer of the case for which the Police in Nasarawa state had already concluded investigations and was about to charge the matter to court.

“It is further our client’s instructions that he was shocked beyond words that IGP monitoring Unit, rather than investigating the petition written against our client, called for the transfer of a case file, in respect of a petition written by our client for which investigation was completed.

Our client further informed us that the IGP monitoring Unit, on its own, subsequently transferred the case file back to Nasarawa Police Command, directing that the case be prosecuted.

“It is our client’s instruction that Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, never reported to Nasarawa State Police Command for arraignment. That rather than reporting for arraignment, Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, through a letter dated 12th March, 2018, by the Chambers of M.A Mahmud SAN & Co petitioned the office of the IGP again, in a desperate bid to stall his arraignment in the High Court of Nasarawa State.

Consequent upon the said petition, the office of the IGP monitoring unit, again requested for the transfer of the case they had directed the Nasarawa State Police Command to prosecute,” the petition read.

Zari’s lawyer stated that his client reported this issue to the Inspector General of Police where the IGP called the officer in charge of IGP Monitoring Unit, “in the presence of our client and the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki.”

The IGP after cautioning the officer in charge of the IGP monitoring Unit, directed the Commissioner of Police, Legal, at the Force Headquarters to take over the investigation of the matter.

While Alh. Zari waited for the directives of the office of the Commissioner of Police, Legal, according to the petition, the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, instigated the same Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against him, by going after all his business partners for no just course.

He further alleges that letters of invitations were sent to all his business partners directing them to come and disclose every transaction they ever made with him financially and otherwise.

He expressed shock at the fact that no petition was written against him or any of his companies from anyone, the basis of which the operatives of EFCC at the direct instigation Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, using his influence as the Personal Assistant to the Acting Executive Chairman of EFCC, and the Head of Economic Governance of EFCC, to frustrate our client’s legitimate business activities.

Chief Ozekhome, further stated in the petition that the current onslaught against his client’s business partners are all aimed at crippling his client’s businesses.
He added; “That the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, has now turned to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, using the Director of Public Prosecution in his avowed determination to cripple our client’s businesses.

That the Director of Public Prosecution by a letter dated the 25th of May, 2018, wrote to the Nigerian Police, requesting for the case files in respect of this matter which is already pending in a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Alh. Zari also alleged that Abubakar Aliyu Madaki has always solicited and sort for financial favours from him, adding that Madaki approached him to buy 10 hectares of land at the price of Twenty Million Naira (N20,000,000.00).

“That the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, insisted that our client must pay the said Twenty Million Naira, stating that our client has the financial capacity to pay, given the volume of his investments in the community.

Our client offered to pay the sum of Ten Million Naira, only(N10,000,000.00) in respect of the said parcel of Land. Our client decided eventually not to buy the said land, which decision irked Abubakar Aliyu Madaki who was desperately in need of money at that time,” the petition stated.

While speaking further, Zari alleged that Abubakar Madaki owns a company called Hadifaz Farms registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission with a forged signature of the wife, Mrs Hadiza Abubakar and has not paid any tax.

Also he alleged that Madaki also bought hector of land in different locations worth over N2 billion. He listed the land to include: a 34.38 hectares, 16.96 hectares, 10 hectares and 300hectares all at Keffiyehs and Gunduma, Karu Local Government Area in Nasarawa State.

But when the Daily Times called Mr Abubakar Aliyu Madaki via his mobile telephone on Tuesday at 4:09PM, he denied all the allegations and referred our reporter to a publication by the EFCC in one of the national dailies, titled “EFCC alleges plot to frame up investigator.”

According to the publication, the EFCC, in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said, “The commission wishes to state that there is not truth to this allegation, which is contrived to malign and impugn the reputation of Madaki, an operative who has handled several high profile investigations without blemish.

The EFCC said that Madaki was never at any point a member of investigating team on the allegations against Zari, stating that Madaki was never part of its investigating team looking into allegations against the businessman.

“If Zari is persuaded that he paid bribes to secure bail from the EFCC, he is obliged to take the additional step of stating the time, place and circumstances in which the money was collected from him and by who, together with witnesses to the transaction,” the commission stated.

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