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INVESTIGATION

NBET MD, Marilyn Amobi allegedly squanders billions, harasses staff with police

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The managing director/chief executive officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc., Dr Marilyn Amobi is in the news again for the wrong reasons, The Witness learnt.

She has been accused of flagrant disobedience to extant circulars and the desperation to allegedly amass wealth illegally thereby leading to her deployment of armed policemen with AK47 to harass and humiliate any staff who refuses to cooperate on her alleged illicit deals.

A staff who spoke on condition of anonymity confided in The Witness that some staff have petitioned the Inspector General of Police on the harassment being suffered from armed policemen stationed on the floors of the Bank of Industry building occupied by NBET at the Central Business Area, Abuja each working day. The policemen, we learnt, are being funded by NBET with taxpayers’ money.

Dr. Amobi, The Witness gathered was said to have bought cars worth over N400million in the last one year without commensurate performance in collections from Electricity Distribution Companies, otherwise called DISCOS. Our source disclosed that all the cars and office relocation expenses in the 2017 budget worth over one billion naira were allegedly procured using over-invoicing, contract splitting to avoid being queried by either the Federal Executive Council or ministerial approval threshold as virtually those procurements were wasteful spending of public funds. More worrisome is the shocking revelation from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission that the commission was prudent by transferring the vehicle used by the vice chairman of the commission to the newly appointed chairman of NERC so as to minimise wasteful spending of public funds.

The Witness authoritatively gathered that both the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation have swung into action aimed at unraveling the alleged massive corruption being perpetrated in Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc by its boss and her cohorts. A whopping sum of N102million contained in the 2018 budget awaiting assent under the heading of library is currently being sponsored by a foreign donor in addition to funding for provision of legal advisory services among others, these amounts of money are still budgeted for by NBET in the 2018 fiscal year. Investors and other stakeholders are wondering why Dr Marilyn Amobi appears untouchable and why pre/post consideration of NBET budget by the National Assembly are not subjected to scrutiny given all the atrocities she has perpetrated since her assumption of office.

However, Dr Amobi is not new to scandals. A training institute in Denmark attended by both staff and non-staff of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) has affiliate with the firm incorporated in Nigeria by Dr Marilyn Amobi.

Several hundred millions of Naira from capital budget and receipts from distribution companies are being used to fund all the illegal foreign training, The Witness learnt. Our source further divulged that Dr. Amobi is able to perpetrate the fraud using her company incorporated as ESL Economics and Management Associates Ltd with RC NO- 1025108.

The registered address of the company is Plot 604, Hunkuyi Close, Area 11, Garki, Abuja and has the first directors as Dr Marilyn Chikaodili Nwanneka Amobi and Dr Ifeoma Edna Amobi holding 80% and 20% share respectively. A certificate number 751030 was issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission for increase in the company share from 1 million to 20 million and the address was changed to 46, Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.

Upon the appointment of Dr Marilyn as NBET’s MD/CEO, The Witness gathered that the NBET Chief resigned from being member of the board of directors but retained her shareholding of 80% in the company till date. Professor Erik Reimer Larsen who was responsible for the academic training programme in Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University Denmark regarding professional training programme is a partner in ESL Economics and Management Associates Ltd.

Another scandal was loading when on 28th of November 2017, a whopping N65 Million from public funds was alleged to have been spent by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) under her for an 11-day trip to Gainesville, Florida, despite federal government’s restriction on foreign travels and trainings abroad.

A circular conveying the message, titled ‘Restrictions on Foreign Trainings and International Travels by Public Servants,’ was issued from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to all ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government in 2015, placing an embargo on foreign travels and international trainings.

“Public servants invited for foreign trainings/study tour, conferences by any organisation, government or other bilateral/multilateral organisation will be allowed to travel provided that no travel cost, estacode application or any other cost on government is involved,” the circular stated.

In defiance of the federal government’s rule, Dr Amobi had given a directive to spend $96,350 USD of public funds for participation at the 43rd International training programme on the utility regulation and strategy held in January 15-26 2018 in Gainsville, Florida, USA, by members of the National Assembly committees on power.

A whistleblower had alleged that the National Assembly members did not attend the event, describing it as a shocking waste of tax payers’ money.

The National Assembly members were Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, (PDP Abia), Senator Adamu Aliero, (APC Kebbi), Senator Lanre Tejuosho, (APC Ogun), Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, (PDP Abia), Hon. Daniel Asuquo, (PDP Cross River) Hon. Mohammed Garba Gololo, (APC Bauchi).

Independent investigation revealed that an additional $7,200  was charged by the organizers of the training for each participant, revealing an additional N15 million tab by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

More revelations show that Dr Marilyn has unplucked wings because of her rooted relationship in the Ministry Of Power, Finance, National Assembly and the Presidency that she can do and undo. Our undercover journalist had earlier reported how N650million not included in the 2017 budget proposal submitted by Mr President to the national assembly found its way into 2017 appropriation tagged as office relocation wherein the current office being used by NBET is befitting enough.

The approved N650million was forcefully cash backed and has been syphoned. Reports had it also on how Dr Marilyn used the national assembly through house committee on power to publish public hearing notice on the dailies against her employer, disagreement erupted when the document given to Dr Marilyn for publication on Calabar PRG was tampered with before been published; the said public hearing was eventually swept under the carpet because of the betrayal of NBET boss. A clerk with the knowledge of the shoddy dealing informed us on the condition of anonymous that there was no evidence of neither approval nor payment for the publication of the public hearing notice.

Several reports on social media shows unethical dealings of NBET boss since her assumption of office till date and nothing was done to investigate those deals by the anti-graft agencies of the federal government due fear.

In line with The Witness investigative journalism practice, our reporter contacted Dr. Amobi for her angle to the allegations, but there was no response as at press time.

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INVESTIGATION

Again, Bet9ja customers accuse company of reneging on payment of winnings

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Two Bet9ja customers, Dennis Dickson and Orazurume Jude Mary, have called on the company to pay them their dues.

They expressed their grievances to The Eagle Online on Monday, lamenting the “unprofessional behaviour” of the company.

Dickson stated that he has been deprived of his winning twice by the company.

He said: “The first instance occurred during the 2018 World Cup, when I staked a bet with the company on the option that some selected players will not score more than 2 to 3 goals per match, all of a sudden after winning the ticket the company void it and said the option was meant to run for the whole of the tournament.

“The second time, I staked on some players that during the transfer window they will not change club without loan deals included, after winning my ticket the company on the 31st night of August 2018 changed the optioned and said that loan deals are also included. Whereas, a loaned player is still the property of the parent club and can be recalled at any time even before the expiration of the loan deal.

Dickson stated that his tickets are: B93ECCWRTQZPE-675035 and B959ECCWERAWTT-68445.

Orazurume Jude Mary Tochi also stated that he played the game in Ekwulobia, Anambra State and the company reneged on the initial agreement that was reached earlier and that was not part of the initial agreement.

Tochi said: “I entered a bet with Bet9ja company under the category of transfer market with bet placed on whether a player would go on transfer to another club or not.

“Loan deal did not count at the time of this deal, but Bet9ja suddenly turned around and reversed the rule of the transfer market, stating that loan deal now counts after we agreed on transfer or no transfer.

“The sudden change was not acceptable as it was against the terms and conditions given to customers, after predicting players who will not change club.

“This amounted to N16,000,000 and N200,000.

“Two players are on loan, which is NOT transfer to the best of knowledge.

“Players on loan still belong to their parent. I went to my game its shows its lost, am not happy.”
Tochi gave his ticket number as B928SPPRCWPPSC-211061.

The Eagle Online reports that Bet9ja is an online bookmaker company that deals on major sporting events according to Alexa.com.

It is the second most visited website in Nigeria, only next to Google.com and it is owned by Kunle Soname, who is also its Chairman. Soname is also the Chairman of Remo Stars Football Club.

It will also be recalled that three customers of Bet9ja had before now petitioned the National Lottery Regulatory Commission claiming the betting company had not paid the over N3 million stake owed them.

The petition was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria at the Zonal Office of the NLRC in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The petition was signed by the contact persons of the affected customers, Emmanuel Ajiboye.

The petition stated that the trio had entered into a bet with the company under the category of “Transfer Market”, with bets placed on whether a player would go on transfer to another club or not.

The petitioners said a “Loan Deals Do Not Count’’ transaction was confirmed in an email by Bet9ja on August 28.
They, however, expressed dismay that on August 31, Bet9ja “suddenly’’ turned around and reversed the rule of the transfer market by stating that “Loan Deals Now Count’’ as contained in a mail the same day.

The petitioners expressed the belief that this was done in order to renege on payment to customers who had played and were going to win.

They described the company’s “contradictory” statements as unprofessional by a leading bookmaker.

The aggrieved petitioners said it was in their knowledge that players on loans still belong to their parent clubs and could still be recalled before the end of their loan deal.

They said that the sudden change was not acceptable as it was against the terms and conditions given to customers.
The petitioners also threatened to explore legal action should Bet9ja refuse to respond favourably to their complaint.
They urged the commission to look into the development and ensure justice was done.

Yinka Salau, an official of the zonal office of the commission in Ilorin, confirmed the receipt of the petition.

He said the petition had been forwarded to the commission’s head office in Abuja for further investigation.

Salau explained that the management of Bet9ja would be invited to state its own side of the case.

Source: The Eagle Online

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INVESTIGATION

Tinubu’s Alphabeta Consulting firm in alleged money laundering scandal

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  • Ex-MD, Dapo Apara petitions EFCC

 

These are not the best of times for the Doherty Akin-led Alphabeta Consulting Limited and Alphabeta Consulting LLP, a Lagos-based management, information systems and technology consulting firm allegedly owned by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Mr. Dapo Apara, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), concerning the activities of the organization which border on money laundering.

In a petition to the EFCC through his lawyer (Adetunji Shoyoye & Associates) and made available to the THE WITNESS, Apara accused the consulting firm of laundering over a N100 billion (One Hundred Billion Naira) for top government officials.

According to Apara, Alphabeta Consulting LLP, which is the revenue mobilization and collection advisor to the Lagos State Government has become an avenue for official corruption of government official, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion, amongst other vices.

The former head-huncho of the company further called on the anti-graft agency to cause a holistic investigation into the firm.

Efforts by THE WITNESS to reach Mr. Doherty Akin for the company’s angle to the allegations proved futile as calls and text messages sent to his mobile number were not responded to as at press time.

 

Read the full petition below:

 

The Executive Chairman

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

5 Formela Crescent, off Ademola Adetokunbo Street,

Wuse 2

Abuja.

 

Sir,

PETITION OF A CASE OF MONEY LAUNDERING, TAX EVASION, FRAUD RUNNING INTO OVER N100,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED BILLION NAIRA) AGAINST ALPHA BETA CONSULTING LIMITED AND ALPHA BETA LLP

The above subject matter refers.

We are solicitors to MR DAPO APARA, hereinafter referred to as our client, and we have his full consent and instruction to write you this petition.

We must first of all thank you and your great organization for the good work you are doing in our country to rid it of corruption, fraud and other vices.

It is however sad that as much as you are trying, some people are hell bent on continually giving the country a bad name and bringing discredit to the Nation and well-meaning Nigerians. One of such is ALPHABETA CONSULTING LIMITED AND ALPHABETA LLP.

The company was incorporated in the year 2002 to carry on the business of Tax Consulting amongst others and our client was the originator of the laudable business idea.

It is sad however that years down the line, the company has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion amongst other vices.

Over the years, the company is being protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable, but our client feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his believe in the fact that the government of President Muhammed Buhari is keen on fighting corruption which has been the bane  of our country, is of the firm believe that its time to expose and open the can of worm called ALPHABETA CONSULTING.

Our client is of the firm believe that it is time for the Commission to step in and conduct a holistic investigation into the activities of ALPHABETA CONSULTING LIMITED AND ALPHABETA LLP, with a view to uncovering the massive corruption, money laundering, tax evasion etc going on in the company. Kindly note that one of the companies being used to perpetrate money laundering by the company is still another company named Ocean Trust Limited.

The only hope of our Client and indeed the teeming Nigerians who are victims of the crimes being perpetrated by these companies, in seeking justice is the Commission which we strongly believe in and therefore call on the commission to cause a holistic investigation into this case and all involved with the aim of bringing these criminals to justice, and not allow their claims of being untouchable to evalidated.

Kindly note sir that as our client is willing and able to provide information to substantiate the claims, though we will plead for these to be done through us as he is presently fearing for his life having been receiving death threat from a lot of quarters because of this case.

 

The details and address of the company is:

 

ALPHABETA CONSULTING LLP

WATER HOUSE HEADQUARTERS 1ST FLOOR

LAGOS STATE WATER CORPORATION

IJORA CAUSE WAY.

IJORA LAGOS

 

While thanking you for your continual cooperation, kindly accept the assurances of our highest esteem.

 

Yours faithfully

ADETUNJI ADEGBOYEGA ESQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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INVESTIGATION

Revealed! Meet Madina Bala Hassan, the face behind ‘Hausaroom’

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Unveiling the owner of a popular blogging site in Northern Nigeria, ‘Hausaroom,’ was a herculean task, but the mask has finally been removed from the face of the masquerade as ‘Hausaroom’ has been traced to a beautiful young lady, Madina Bala Hassan.

For the curious ones, If you doubt our story, check with the CAC and you’ll search no further as she is the owner of Hausaroom with her passport data page and number registered with.

Here’s a little about Madina Bala Hassan, she’s the daughter of retired AIG Bala Hassan. She went to the University of Dundee for masters in Human Anatomy. She is happily married with two beautiful kids.

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