A former Director of Nigerian Navy Accounts, Rear Admiral Tahir Yusuf (retd.), on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reopened his two hotels sealed by the anti-graft agency.
SaharaReporters had reported that EFCC operatives last weekend sealed off Emerald hotels and suites located in Zaria and Kaduna and other properties owned and acquired with suspected proceeds of crime by former Director of Nigerian Navy Accounts.
The anti-graft agency placed the red inscriptions, ‘EFCC Under Investigation’ all over the hotels.
However, sources told SaharaReporters that the EFCC inscriptions had been covered with patches at the two facilities.
They added that both hotels have been reopened with guests lodging in and other activities going on.
“After EFCC marked Rtd Tahir Yusuf’s hotels in Kaduna and Sokoto, guess what he did, he asked his people to wipe and clean the EFCC markings. This man is so arrogant. As we are talking, business activities are ongoing in the hotels.
“One of his staff (members) said he told them not to panic as those who came to seal off the property are fake EFCC operatives.
“He was boasting around that he has reached out to the EFCC through his younger brother, Abdulbari Yusuf, who is a banker with Zenith Bank, Maiduguri branch.
“He said he gave money to many EFCC operatives, including a Director of Operations, so nothing can be done to him again.”
SaharaReporters had in a series of detailed investigations exposed how Yusuf, a fugitive, sneaked back into Nigeria with the help of some corrupt government officials, mainly in the military through Niger Republic.
He had fled Nigeria to Dubai, UAE in 2018 after he was accused of stealing N2 billion belonging to the Nigerian government while serving as Director of Nigerian Navy Accounts.
In 2020, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the permanent forfeiture of about N500 million found to be fraudulently amassed by the military officer to the Nigerian government.
The total amount forfeited was N392, 695,857.87, including $91,955.38 and the sum of £15,050 held in domiciliary accounts.
Yusuf, previously second-in-command to the Chief of Account and Budget, Naval Headquarters (NHQ), held the cash in seven accounts- both private and corporate in two banks.
The seven accounts were operated under the name of a company, Bitmas Enterprise, in Zenith Bank while two were held in Yusuf’s name in the defunct Skye Bank, now Polaris Bank.
SaharaReporters gathered that the fugitive has been moving round the country with military guards provided by the Navy authorities since he came back illegally.