From the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to date, a number of high profile politicians, retired military officers and public servants, have been put on trial for one corruption charge or the other. Some of the accused persons are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside their biological children. Recently, there were reports of the ostentatious lifestyles of the children of public officers, mostly flaunted in social media platforms. Below are some of the cases of sons of the public officials who allegedly helped their parents in emptying the public treasury.
Sule Lamido and sons
A former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, was the first high profile politician to be arrested and arraigned with his sons over corruption allegations. The EFCC arrested two of his sons over a N10 billion fraud. Aminu and Mustapha Lamido were arrested and interrogated at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja by a team of detectives. The arrest of the governor’s sons was reportedly in continuation of the investigation that commenced in December 2012 when Aminu Sule Lamido was arrested at the Malam Aminu Kano Airport en route Cairo, Egypt for failure to declare the $50,000 he had on him. Although Aminu has since been prosecuted and convicted by a Federal High Court in Kano, investigation on how he came by the money led to other investigations to uncover an alleged money laundering from the Jigawa State government accounts channeled into the accounts of companies run by the former governor and his two sons.
Over N10billion is said to have been transferred from the Jigawa State government accounts into the accounts in which Sule Lamido and his two sons have interest from 2007 till date.
The anti-graft agency is said to have traced these transfers to 10 companies where Lamido and sons are directors and signatories to the account.
The former governor and his sons were on September 22, re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on amended charges bordering on corruption and money laundering.
They had earlier been arraigned before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court in Kano on July 7. All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Lamido is a veteran politician under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He has been a disciple of the late Malam Aminu Kano political school of thought. He was the minister of foreign affairs during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, having served as a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic. He was the governor of Jigawa State from 2007 to 2015. He is a leading chieftain of the opposition PDP.
Musiliu Obanikoro and sons
Musiliu Obanikoro, a former minister of state for defence, is a Lagos-based politician who has been a leading face of the PDP for many years. He was alleged to have embezzled money from about N4.7 billion arms fund meant for procurement of weapons for the Nigerian military to combat insurgency in Nigeria.
The EFCC reportedly traced funds allegedly linked to the arms fund to the bank account of Sylvan McNamara Limited, a company in which the former minister’s two sons, Ibrahim Babajide and Gbolahan Olatunde Obanikoro had stakes.
The former minister reportedly confessed to the EFCC that he took N800 million out of the funds he collected, using his sons’ Sylvan McNamara Company.
Obanikoro was a strong stalwart in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan. He was the PDP’s governorship candidate in Lagos State.
Before his arrest and subsequent release on bail, Obanikoro went on self-imposed exile, before voluntarily surrendering to the EFCC.
Murtala Nyako and son
A former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako and his son, Abdulraziz, a senator representing Adamawa Central, were arraigned for an alleged N29 billion money laundering.
Nyako was elected the governor of Adamawa State in 2007, but his election was nullified. He contested and won again. Just before the end of his second tenure in 2015, Nyako was impeached by the State Assembly.
The Adamawa politician was a naval admiral, military governor and service chief before he retired and ventured into farming. He was among the five PDP governors that defected to the then newly-formed All Progressives Congress (APC). He was very critical of President Jonathan’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
Senator Abdulaziz was a very powerful figure in Nyako’s administration. The Adamawa Emirate turbaned him Sarkin Matasa. The traditional title was, however, withdrawn by the Lamido Adamawa when the EFCC arraigned him for money laundering.
The charges against Nyako and son include criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, opening of multiple bank accounts and stealing to the tune of N29 billion.
The EFCC said the accused had opened over 30 different accounts in Zenith Bank Plc with the money between 2011 and 2013.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to a 37-count of corruption and money laundering.
Bala Mohammed and son
A former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, was also charged for corruption, alongside his son, Shamsudeen.
Mohammed, a retired civil servant, came to national limelight when he served as special adviser to his estranged political associate, Malam Isa Yuguda, who was aviation minister during former President Obasanjo’s administration.
He was elected senator on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2007. He was appointed minister by President Jonathan after the death of President Umaru Yar’adua. He was one of the heavyweight PDP politicians during the buildup to the 2015 elections.
The anti-graft agency had brought a five-count charge against him before the High Court of the FCT sitting in Gudu, but was later withdrawn. The former minister was arrested and detained last year when he went to honour an invitation by the commission.
His son, Shamsudeen, was arraigned before a Federal High Court, Abuja, over an alleged N1.1 billion fraud. He was arraigned with four other companies on a 15-count charge bordering on money laundering offence. The companies are Bird Trust Agro-Allied Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited, and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.
The Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, eventually granted the former minister’s son bail in the sum of N100 million. He was remanded in Kuje prison before he fulfilled the bail conditions. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Attahiru Bafarawa and son
The EFCC arrested the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, in connection with the arms deal involving former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
Bafarawa, a leading northern politician, was the governor of Sokoto State between 1999 and 2007 on the platform of the defunct ANPP and later Democratic People’s Party (DPP). He was the presidential candidate of the DPP in the 2007 elections.
He was also part of the opposition chieftains that formed the APC. But he parted ways with the new party over disagreement with his estranged deputy and successor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. Bafarawa subsequently defected to the PDP before the 2015 elections.
He was arrested on December 1 for allegedly laundering over N4.1billion meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram insurgency. The ex-governor’s son, Sagir, was arrested earlier. Sagir was alleged to have acted as a front for his father when he collected about N4.6billion from the NSA’s office.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Bello Halliru and son
A former minister of defence, Bello Halliru, was arraigned alongside his son, Abba, for allegedly collecting N600 million in the arms deal.
The Kebbi-born politician is a former comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), minister of communications, and lately, the national chairman of the PDP.
Abba was arrested by the EFCC over the allegation that he collected N600 million as a representative of Bam Properties Limited. His father, Bello, was also charged in relation to an alleged involvement in the diversion of arms funds. The Federal High Court in Abuja granted them a N600 million bail. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Alex Badeh and son
During the trial of a former chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, for alleged graft, the name of his son, Badeh Junior, featured, but he was not charged.
Badeh was the first retired general under trial, whose son was named in the arms deal.
Dozens of other senior military officers were implicated by the presidential committee investigating arms acquisition during the Boko Haram war. The former defence chief’s village was overrun by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau (retired), a former director of finance and accounts, Nigerian Air Force, said during a court proceeding that he was directed to buy a property worth N240million for Badeh’s son, Alex Badeh Junior.
Badeh was being prosecuted alongside Iyalikam Nigeria Limited by the EFCC for offences bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption, to the tune of over N3.9 billion.
The retired defence chief has denied the charges.