Transcorp: Iseghohi, 2 others face 32 charges

Transcorp N15bn Scam update: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday filed a 32-count charge against the Group Managing Director of Transcorp, Mr. Tom Iseghohi, over an alleged N15bn fraud. Also being charged along with him in connection with the contract scam are the company’s Deputy General Manager, Mr. Mike Okoli, and the Company Secretary, Mr. Mohammed Buba.

A source close to the anti-graft commission told our correspondent that the suspects might likely be arraigned before a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday. The source also said that the suspects, who had since their arrest on May 17 been detained in the EFCC custody, would be charged with conspiracy and criminal diversion of public funds.

The suspects, who were handed over to the commission by the agents of the State Security Service, were alleged to have engaged in corrupt practices through indiscriminate awards of contracts. Iseghohi, in connivance with the two other suspects, were alleged to have awarded some of the controversial contracts and made payment for services using different companies allegedly owned by their cronies and friends.

Some of the companies are Global Employment Solution Incorporation, Lansak International Limited, Global Information Technology, Hasasa Inter Press Nigeria Limited, Hamattan Venture, Centrespread FCB and Ankor Pointe Integrated Limited.

In one of the contracts allegedly awarded to Global Solution Incorporation by the embattled Transcorp top officials, a sum of N1.2bn was said to have been paid into the GMD’s account in the United States of America between July 7, 2007 and May 2008.

Also, Lansak International Limited was said to have allegedly paid about N64m for the rental of an office space not in use.

Besides, it was also alleged that the suspects paid about $100,000 to Global Information Technology Incorporated, a company based in USA, toward the end of 2008 to investigate a fire incident that affected NICON property on Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

A sum of $108m per month was also alleged to have been paid to Ankor Pointe Integrated Limited between 2007 till date for the management of Transcorp Oil block OPL.

In addition, while about N35m was also said to have been paid to Hasasa between November 2007 and August 2008 as consultancy fee, Hamattan Venture was said to have also got $500m for organising meetings for the GMD overseas.

When contacted, the Head, Media and Publicity of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the story.

Babafemi said a 32-count charge was preferred against the suspects on Monday and that they might likely be arraigned very soon. He said, “I am aware that a 32-count charge was filed against the three suspects on Monday and they may likely be arraigned any moment from now.”