A former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Inde Dikko, has been detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N42 billion fraud committed while in office.
The former Customs boss, who has been detained, is also being investigated for N2.6 billion which he allegedly used to purchase a mansion at 1, Audu Ogbe Street, Jabi, Abuja.
Abdullahi Dikko, who turned himself in yesterday June 16th, has been on the EFCC watch list since January this year. He arrived the EFCC headquarters at about 10am, was detained and interrogated for about eight hours.
Sources inside the EFCC who spoke with reporters yesterday revealed;
“The former Customs boss is at the moment being quizzed over two key allegations bordering on criminal conspiracy, diversion of public funds, theft, abuse of office and living above legitimate means.
“He is being grilled over the source of the funds with which he acquired the palatial mansion valued at over N2billion located at 1, Audu Ogbe Street, Jabi Abuja. There is also an allegation that he diverted over N40billion from Customs coffers.
“The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the 7% cost of collection and 1% comprehensive import supervision scheme. There are lots of questions that he has to answer.
“Discreet investigation has been going on for months and this is the opportunity for him to clear the air on the allegation and other evidence that have emerged in the course of the investigation.”
Operatives of the anti-graft agency believe that Dikko’s Jabi mansion was funded largely through kickback from Customs contractors. The N100million spent to buy the land on which the mansion sits was provided by a Customs contractor, being the first tranche of N650m used in the construction of the gigantic building.
According to them, the said funds were allegedly paid to Dikko’s personal lawyer by the contractors which the lawyer then transferred to the engineer handling the construction.
Both Dikko’s lawyer and the building engineer have allegedly admitted their roles, claiming that they acted on instructions from the former Comptroller-General.
EFCC operatives are also looking into how a former Assistant Comptroller General of Customs under Dikko allegedly got paid over N2.6billion, which was remitted into accounts of companies floated by the officer from the Customs’ coffers.