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Sam Iwuajoku released after refunding N2 billion over import duty duty waivers scam

October 25, 2007


Sam Iwuajoku, the businessman at the center of an import duty waivers scam, was released this week by the EFCC after he paid N2 billion in back import duties to the Federation account. Sources told Saharareporters that Iwuajoku was granted bail after he paid N1 billion and also issued a post-dated cheque worth N1 billion.

Saharareporters was first to report Sam Iwuajoku’s arrest by the EFCC. He was picked up in Lagos more than three weeks ago by EFCC agents over what the anti-corruption agency described as a petition from the Ministry of Finance accusing the businessman of procuring import duty waivers under false pretenses.

Sam Iwuajoku is a business associate of Alhaji Aliko Dangote who is himself in the shadow of accusations for colluding with former President Olusegun Obasanjo to cheat the national treasury of billions of naira in revenues that ought to have accrued from import duties. The former president used import duties waivers as a tool of political appeasement and corruption.

Some of Iwuajoku's associates accuse Aliko Dangote of setting him up for arrest. They point to the fact that, despite allegations that Aliko Dangote was the biggest beneficiary of import duty waivers said to be worth N100 billion, the EFCC didn't find it necessary to arrest or interrogate the Kano-born businessman.

Iwuajoku’s associates also contend that his arrest was aimed at shutting him out of the partnership with Aliko Dangote in the Executive Jet Services investment.

Saharareporters had earlier reported that soon after his arrest, Sam Iwuajoku moved his private jet out of Nigeria to the US. Our checks reveal that the jet was yet to return to Nigeria.

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