A good investment climate provides opportunities and incentives for investors to invest profitably, create jobs, and expand national output thereby increasing private investment and economic growth. But when the environment is not conducive, no business can thrive and investors would not want to invest their money where return on investment is not guaranteed. MATHEW DADIYA reports on the implications of using government settle personal scores.
While the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is doing everything within its powers to attract investment from different parts of the world, an investor has alleged that a staff member of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) has crippled a multi billion naira investments attracted into the country with his foreign partners.
These investments are meant to generate employment, increase Direct Foreign Investment (FDI) and capital flow into the country.
Alhaji Abdulhamid Mahmud Zari, the Chairman of G-Complex – a company that is setup to assemble cars and heavy duty vehicles at Gunduma, Nasarawa State; alleged that one Mr Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, a staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been intimidating, harassing and destroyed his businesses.
This action led to crippling of a multi-business complex worth tens of billions of Naira at Gunduma, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state while some of the materials have damaged.
This complex according to the owner; is made up of Auto Assembling Plant, private university, Bakery, Super Market, Restaurants, Hotel, Specialist hospital, amongst other chains of businesses.
The Chairmn of G-Complex said that the target date for the completion of the project is December 2018; but he lamented that the dateline cannot be met due to the insessant attacks on the project site by the said Madaki.
He disclosed that they had assembled some cars and trucks as sample which are being used pending the completion of the complex.
Alhaji Zari said that he had written 21 petitions to the EFCC without any response, wondering why the commission refuses to take action on the issue.
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, said that his lawyer has petitioned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on how Madaki and some EFCC staff have crippled his businesses and also intimidated his business partners.
The businessman alleged that the extortion and harassment meted on him, his workers at the project site by the said Madaki and some of his colleagues at the anti-graft agency has chased away his foreign business partners.
This, Zari said has consequently resulted in the crippling of his businesses including an auto assembly plant worth over N15 billion Naira.
Zari’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome had in a petition, stated that his client reported the 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 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 alleged 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.
According to the businessman, the current onslaught against his client’s business partners are all aimed at crippling his client’s businesses.
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.
One of the Gunduma residents, Mr Mohammed Tanko, told our correspondent that “the objective of the economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC, is aimed at protecting the Nigerian economy from the hands of saboteurs and to build investors confidence. It should not allow anybody to use its name to threaten people.
Some government workers especially those in the law enforcement agencies, use the same office to fight their perceived enemies and investors for no genuine reason. This is a dangerous precedence that could scare away not only foreign investors but locals and could make them take their investments to other countries.”
The EFCC staff misled the commission into arresting and intimidating this man who has brought a huge investment here. We don’t have this kind of investment in the whole north central.
While his project is ongoing, he built mosque for us, sung boreholes to the communities and even the Church. From nowhere Madaki and his brothers started attacking this man that is fighting,” Tanko said.
However, Zari said that, after a due investigation by the Commission, the allegations were unfounded and the EFCC unsealed the business complex which is under construction.
Another resident, Mr John Yakubu, said that citing the business at Gunduma has improved improve their living standard narrating that they work at the project site daily while their women sale foods and also make money.
He appealed to the state and federal government to intervene in the issue that has led to the stoppage of the project and to also take necessary action on anyone that has led to the closure of the ongoing projects.
“Every government want to achieve economic growth because producing more goods and services can raise people’s living standards; economic growth can indeed transform people’s lives and enable them to live longer because of better nutrition, housing and health care,” Yakubu said.
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 the trouble all started when Abubakar Aliyu Madaki who 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.”
He alleged that on the 26th of March, 2017, the said Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, visited his house in Gunduma 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.”
“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.
“I was released on bail after the EFCC operatives forcefully extorted the sum of Four Million Naira (N4, 000,000.00) from me, promising to release all the documents carted away by them in the course of the illegal search on my premises. It was when the operatives of EFCC failed to release my properties to me that I consulted a lawyer.
Zari said 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.
The businessman said 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.
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.”
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 at Keffi and Gunduma, Karu Local Government Areas in Nasarawa State.
When the Daily Times called Mr Abubakar Aliyu Madaki via his mobile telephone on Tuesday last week 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 no 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 “Madaki was never at any point a member of investigating team on the allegations against the businessman.”