An investigation by this website has revealed that Brigadier General Umaru Waziri Mohammed, chairman of a presidential task force on the lease of Federal Government landed property, is currently engaged in a fierce battle with the management and Board of Directors of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc in his bid to wrest control of the ground handling company by having his surrogate, Captain Okpara Eyinna (ret.), appointed to the Board of Directors.
Our investigators also learned that the Army General owns a private company, AWHUA Resources Limited, which he allegedly used to convert public assets to his private use and has an interest in several private and public organizations within and outside Nigeria.
Several sources detailed to our investigators how Brigadier General Umaru Waziri Mohammed has exploited his role as chairman of the Taskforce of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Lease of Federal Government Landed Property across to corruptly amass wealth for himself.
General Mohammed is reportedly bent on seconding his surrogate, Captain Eyinna, into the Board of Directors of NAHCO in an attempt to circumvent the Code of Conduct, which prevents public servants from engaging in private business.
Investigations by our correspondents revealed that General Mohammed has been a member of the presidential committee since he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army, and rose to become chairman of the task force.
Our investigation revealed that General Mohammed, through AWHUA Resources Ltd, owned N105 units of 50k ordinary shares of NAHCO Plc, representing 7.4 percent of the total shares of the company. NAHCO sources said the military officer has been insisting that, by virtue of his shares, his surrogate should be a member of the company's board.
Our investigators found that, between February 25, 2015 and July 25, 2016, no fewer than 20 correspondences exchanged hands between NAHCO, AWHUA, Department of State Security (DSS), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co (security consultants) as a result of the intention of the Army General to appoint a director to NAHCO's board.
Documents made available to our correspondent by a source indicated that AWHUA wrote at least five letters to the management of NAHCO dated February 25, 2015, March 24, 2015, June 8, 2015, July 30, 2015, and July 30, 2015,
On its part, NAHCO wrote at least 13 correspondences to AWHUA and other bodies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and the DSS.
Also, SEC had written two correspondences to the NAHCO management on October 30, 2015, and March 11, 2016, both related to General Mohammed's insistence on nominating a director into the NAHCO board.
All of NAHCO’s letters were signed by its Company Secretary, Ms. Folashade Ode, who about a month ago was appointed as the company's acting Managing Director. All of AWHUA’s correspondences were signed by General Mohammed himself.
Background checks conducted on AWHUA Resources by Shinkafi, Kusamotu, Olojo & Co., dated 14th September 2015 and titled "Due Diligence on AWHUA Resources Limited" contained revealing information about General Mohammed's several sides.
The independent investigation revealed that, over the period of his membership and chairmanship of the Federal Government’s task force, General Mohammed had acquired several organizations running into billions of naira. It showed as well that he was the chairman of AWHUA Resources with its registered address at Waziri Mamma Complex in Bida, Niger State.
According to the report, the military officer's firm "was incorporated as AWHUA Resources Limited on February 12, 2002, with RC No 442238 with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). He is said to be a civil servant and he is also a director in AWHUA Resources Ltd. He signed most of the statutory forms of the company with CAC.
“One Khadijah Umaru Mohammed, who is also a shareholder/ Director, is highly suspected to be either a daughter or wife to the said Mallam Umar Mohammed Waziri. On a painstaking search, we discovered that there is a Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army with a similar name to that of the said brain behind AWHUA Resources. He has been in the committee for the disposal of Federal Government Houses in Nigeria and overseas.
“He has been on the committee since he was [at] the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and he has employed all means to keep himself on the committee where he has apparently made enough fortune to even buy your organization.
“In view of this fact and other surrounding circumstances, we may infer that the Umaru Mohammed Waziri is the same Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army. If this is so, it raises a serious issue of breach of Code of Conduct because a public servant is not allowed to engage in private business.
“You may have to conduct further and deeper due diligence on the said CAPT. Okpara Eyinna (rtd) to ensure that he is a fit and proper person. You should request for his CV as well as details of his previous engagement and the circumstances of his disengagement. You must ensure that he is no longer a public servant and the circumstances of his disengagement from the public service are not connected to any improper conduct (misconduct).”
Our investigation revealed that the management of NAHCO had held a series of tense and unfruitful meetings with General Mohammed, with the effect of stalling the officer's desire to secure his stooge on the NAHCO board.
Two NAHCO sources told our investigators that General Mohammed, out of frustration with NAHCO's reluctance to approve his surrogate's membership of the Board of Directors, threatened “to deal with” the company. The officer subsequently wrote to NAHCO through his lawyers, Alegeh & Co, in an effort to compel his membership of the board.
Despite the legal pressure, most of the NAHCO management has staunchly opposed the allotment of a seat on the company's board to General Mohammed or his surrogate.
On December 15, 2016, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate General Mohammed and his numerous businesses. As at press time, the anti-corruption agency had not indicated any investigation of the wealthy and politically connected officer.