A state governor is in trouble for allegedly withdrawing about N100billion from his state’s Joint Local Government Account (SJLGA) under the guise of addressing security challenges.
According to the Nation online,Much of the funds was withdrawn in cash on the orders of the governor
The alleged fraud was uncovered by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) following suspicious transactions by the governor.
The banks which facilitated the withdrawals have been assisting security agencies, especially the NFIU, on how the fraud was perpetrated.
Sources said ongoing investigation by the NFIU has shown widespread abuse of the State Joint Local Government Accounts (SJLGA) by state governors.
The development was said to have informed the decision of the NFIU to ban banks, governors other financial institutions, public officers and relevant stakeholders from tampering with the statutory allocations of Local Government Areas from the Federation Account.
Although new financial guidelines by the NFIU will become effective from June 1, the agency has already put all the banks on alert to forestall last minute withdrawal from the Joint Account by governors.
The NFIU said as from 1st June any bank that allows any transaction from any local government account without monies first reaching a particular local government account will be sanctioned 100%, both locally and internationally.
According to a reliable source, the NFIU has retrieved a table of massive withdrawals by state governors from the joint account (SJLGA).
The source said: “of all the instances at hand, we have a case of cash withdrawal from a joint account which was as much as N100 billion by a governor. This is a state with all sorts of insecurity.
“About N10billion out of the N100billion was recently withdrawn in suspicious circumstances. We have shared the intelligence with all relevant agencies. We cannot allow the trend to continue at all because whatever we are doing have global implications. Some agencies are already handling the case of the said governor.
“The NFIU has tightened the noose on some complicit banks. Before the international community comes talking to us, we have decided to act with the issuance of new guidelines.
“Remember that all these electronic transactions are regulated worldwide, they have worldwide connection. They are seeing it; they are not just coming to Nigeria simply because they just want to blacklist us for blacklisting sake.
“So, rather than sacrifice the entire system, we sacrifice individuals and organizations involved, who are committing these crimes, and we will do that.
“Our findings are not empty, these documents are not empty, we attach with proves of structured massive withdrawals all amounting to money laundering, which is our responsibility to stop.”