Minister under probe over N80m property




Minister under probe over N80m property


From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Minister of State for Education Dr. Jerry Agada has been reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly buying an N80million duplex through a proxy.

A petition against the Minister has been forwarded to the EFCC with a copy sent to President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The petition, written by two Abuja-based lawyers, Mr. Ogboli Charles and Mr. Osuagwu Ugochukwu, and dated September 15, was submitted to the Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, on September 16.

The petitioners are calling on the EFCC to investigate the minister.

The petition reads: “We are in receipt of a complaint by Gold World Properties Limited by its Marketing Manager, Miss Rita Ukeke, which among others alleged that the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Jerry Agada, was accused of buying a duplex at Bujumbura Street, Wuse II at a whopping sum of N80million through a proxy by name Dr. Andrew of IATO Nigeria Limited situate at Plot 31, Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

“We suspect, after preliminary enquiries that the said money used in purchasing the said duplex may be public funds or may be elements of money laundering, contrary to the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004.

“We, therefore, demand you exercise your functions and powers under Section 6(b), (h) and Section 7(1) of the EFCC Act 2004. We trust in your ability to so act.”

Investigations revealed that the house belonged to Alhaji Ali Ganye, who sold it to offset a debt.

It was also learnt that the secret house deal, which began in October 2007, was blown open by the agent after a disagreement with the minister over transaction fees of about N4million.

The EFCC has begun a probe of how the Minister bought the duplex.

The Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said: “We have received a petition against the Minister and it is receiving attention.”

It was gathered Yar’Adua’s copy was sent to him through DHL courier service.

But the minister, who spoke through one of his relations, said he bought the house with “legitimate money.”

He said: “The purchase of this duplex was not a product of corruption. The minister took a loan of N100million from First Bank Plc to buy the house. The agreement will be made available to the appropriate authority.

“What happened was that upon the inauguration of the three ministers of Education in 2007, they were checked into Peniel Apartment because, with the monetisation policy in place, there are no official quarters for them.

“At a point, the hotel bill rose to about N11million each for the ministers. And when the bill was becoming too much, the ministers (including Agada) got an approval for facility to buy houses.

“Minister Agada sought his own transaction of N100million from the First Bank, Plc. When the agent (Gold World Properties Limited) could not get the minister the first duplex earlier agreed upon, he sought the assistance of an architect relation, Andrew and Sam. These two people eventually secured the present second duplex, which was bought by the minister.

“It should be cleared that in negotiating for the second duplex, neither the minister nor his relation was involved in any obligation with the agent. But after paying N80million to the landlord, the agent (who could not get a house for the minister) emerged from nowhere to demand the agency fees of 5% (N4million) which the minister refused to part with.

“The agent had insisted that he also sought for the second duplex and facilitated contact with the owner. When the Minister refused to pay the 5% fees, the same agent went to connive with a Personal Assistant to a Magistrate in Abuja in order to intimidate the minister with a strange court process.

“Following the desperation of the agent and threats, the minister agreed to play along with the agent and the PA to the Magistrate. He (Agada) decided to report the matter to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.

“Oblivious of what was at stake, the minister agreed to meet with the PA to an Abuja Magistrate, who had become a front for the agent, in company with police detectives. The PA was so eager to secure a cut that she had to reduce the agency fees to N2million. In the middle of negotiation, she was arrested by the detectives. The case is now being investigated by the FCT Police Command.

“The same desperate cartel must have sought the services of these lawyers to write a petition against the minister. But the minister did not buy the house with looted funds.”

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One Response to “Minister under probe over N80m property”

  1. samson adah apaul says:

    i am a Nigerian; but i see no reason why i should desire Obama to become the next President of America, simply because he is black; if i reason that way then i am a racist- if i should support Obama at all…it should be cause i know he is capable foe the job…not because he is ‘colored-enough’ for the job; besides, a black man doesn’t need to become America’ President for me to know or prove that black is not inferiror to white; that fact doesn’t need any proof: if the black race support to get Obama into the White House is to prove the fact that White is not supperior to Black, then the black race still have a long way to go in delivering herself from self-imposed-slavery. i love Obama, i celebrate his courage and boldness; but i give McCain tumbs-up for the job. McCain go for it. i love you.
    samson adah paul/

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