Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign publicity director, Femi Fani-Kayode, used fronts to accept payments from former National Security Adviser, Col.Sambo Dasuki (rtd), according to information released by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr. Fani-Kayode is one of several prominent politicians, most of them tied to Mr. Jonathan or the Peoples Democratic Party, under investigation for benefiting from more than $2 billion in public funds meant to fight Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, but which Mr. Dasuki is accused of diverting to partisan political ends.
A list released by the Office of the National Security Adviser contained the name of a firm, Leeman Communication Ltd, used by Mr. Fani-Kayode to collect some share of the defense funds. An EFCC operative involved in investigating the widening scandal told SaharaReporters that Mr. Fani-Kayode had used the firm as a front in order to avoid detection.
After SaharaReporters first reported that Mr. Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister, was part of the circuit of politicians who received vast sums of money from Mr. Dasuki, the former campaign spokesman for ex-President Jonathan issued an elaborate statement claiming he had never taken a single “kobo” from the embattled ex-NSA.
However, a source who is part of a team of investigators told SaharaReporters that Mr. Fani-Kayode was only trying to be clever by half. The source asserted that his team had traced monies illegally taken from the NSA after Mr. Fani-Kayode had persuaded former President Jonathan to hire him to undertake “perception management” for the then president who was in the thick of an ultimately futile reelection campaign.
Mr. Jonathan reportedly approved for Mr. Dasuki to pay some monies to Mr. Fani-Kayode through Leeman Communications Limited, a company managed by a Uk-based journalist and PR consultant, Lekan Fatodu. The former NSA then wired the payment through an account, FG/NS062014. Investigators allege that, as soon as Leeman Communications Ltd received the funds, Mr. Fani-Kayode then sent text messages to Leeman Communications Ltd to release his portion of the payment through a female front, Olushola Grace Obaze, through her account number, 001-542-8962, at Diamond Bank.
Investigators said they found that this convoluted and crafty mode of receiving payment was typical of Mr. Fani-Kayode’s financial dealings with former President Jonathan and Mr. Dasuki. They added that the former Aviation minister used several fronts to receive public funds that totaled N1.7 billion.
In a paid advertisement issued today, the Office of the National Security Adviser asked Leeman Communication Ltd to step forward to explain how it got the contract and to provide the list of its directors.
One investigator suggested that Mr. Fani-Kayode must have adopted the circuitous mode of receiving funds from Mr. Jonathan and Mr. Dasuki because he already was under indictment by the EFCC for money laundering that reportedly occurred during his tenure as a minister. During the presidential campaign, former President Olusegun Obasanjo described Mr. Fani-Kayode as a man who would prostitute himself for cash.