The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen about N905,941,696.87 in an account traced to a sole proprietorship company Rivlink International.
The huge inflows into the suspected slush account allegedly came from the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority
The owner of the company, Christian Robinson, is deceased.
A man, Kenneth Koroma, made futile attempts to withdraw the cash.
A source said: “The EFCC received an intelligence report on November 2 alleging that a sole proprietorship firm, Rivlink International, had huge inflows from the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority in an account with a new generation bank. The said account had a closing balance of N905,941,696.87.
The company was registered in 2000 using a fictitious name of one Christian Robinson. But the account was opened in 2001 as sole proprietorship with Mr. Christian Robinson as the sole proprietor.
“He, however, appointed Mr. Kenneth Koroma as the sole signatory to the account for the purpose of money laundering.
“Covert intelligence revealed that the sole proprietor, Christian Robinson, is deceased and the trustee, Kenneth Koroma, has been making frantic efforts to withdraw the funds, which had been on fixed deposit.
“Sometimes in June 2017, Koroma wrote the bank requesting it to liquidate the fixed deposit and transfer the balance to an account number 0037907856 of a company, OLF Enterprise, also operated by him.
“Unknown to Koroma, the proprietor had changed him as a signatory to Rivlink International’s account before he died.
“The bank insisted that it could not release the N905m to Koroma because he had ceased to be the sole signatory to the account of Rivlink International. Relevant documents were shown to him on how the owner of the company effected the change of signatory.”
Another source said: “Following intelligence report and an alarm by the bank, EFCC detectives decided to trace the inflows into the company’s account.
“We discovered that the inflows were coming in bits into the account of Rivlink over the years from the sanitation agency without any evidence of contracts carried out.
“We are suspecting the account to be a slush type which cannot be operated again because the sole proprietor is dead.
“Further inquiry to ascertain the legitimacy or otherwise of the said funds is in progress. However, the EFCC has obtained a Freeze Order from the court pending the outcome of ongoing investigation.”
The source added: “Certainly, if we were able to establish that the cash was a product of money laundering from the coffers of Rivers State Government, it will be forfeited and we may have to recover it for the state.”