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EXCLUSIVE: Former Nigerian Navy Admiral Declared Wanted For N2billion Fraud By Anti-Graft Agency, EFCC Sighted In Abuja ‘Moving Freely With Security Men’

January 30, 2023

EFCC had in October 2022 told a Federal High Court in Abuja that Yusuf was on the run and could not be reached.

A former Director of Nigerian Navy Accounts, Rear Admiral Tahir Yusuf Biu, declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was sighted last week in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, moving freely in company of security operatives.

EFCC had in October 2022 told a Federal High Court in Abuja that Yusuf was on the run and could not be reached.

He is being prosecuted by the Nigerian government through the anti-graft agency for allegedly stealing N2billion while serving as Director of Nigerian Navy Accounts.

The anti-graft agency claimed that all efforts to locate the whereabouts of Yusuf had proved unsuccessful since March 16 2022, when 9 counts were filed against him.

EFCC’s counsel, Mr Cosmas Obeta Ugwu, had lamented that the defendant could not be found; hence, he could not be brought before the court to defend the criminal charges against him.

The charge sheet revealed that on March 14, 2012, Yusuf allegedly took possession of N135.4 million which he put in his Bitmas Enterprises account, 1001439871.

The money was transferred from the Defence Intelligence Agency personnel account, while another N197.8 million was also transferred in the same manner into the Bitmas account.

EFCC also charged him with unlawful transfer of N148 million from the Defence Intelligence Agency to his company account at Zenith Bank and N334 million into the same company’s account in the same manner.

Also, Yusuf was alleged to have taken possession of another N152 million and another N20 million from Defence Intelligence Agency transferred into the company account.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that the former Naval Chief diverted $300,000 from a Navy personal account meant for the purchase of furniture for Navy Secondary School at Okura to his company account domiciled at Zenith Bank before he escaped to an unknown destination.

However, Yusuf was sighted twice last week in Abuja with security operatives, SaharaReporters was told.

He was said to have attended court sittings in a civil case he instituted against his ex-wife.

“If this is a nation of laws, then, there is no way someone like Yusuf should still be walking the streets freely. He is now in Abuja,” he said.

SaharaReporters gathered that Yusuf was being shielded from arrest by Senator Abdu Suleiman Kwari, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Other Financial Crime.

“His case came up on Friday, 28th October 2022 where counsel to the EFCC claimed before the court that the commission could not lay its hand on him since the charges were filed after which the judge said he would strike out the charge at the next adjourned date if the defendant is not produced before the court.

“Interestingly, the Retired Admiral who was once a Director of Navy Accounts and Director, Finance Defense Intelligence Agency is adjudged to be one of the most powerful retired military personnel the country has ever seen and he has been moving about freely in company of his military driver all over the place.

“On Saturday, 22nd October, 2022, the retired Admiral was seen amongst his friends and associates in his new bakery, SIDI’S BAKERY located at the old Savanah Bank building, PZ Area, Zaria, Kaduna State. He has often boasted that he is untouchable and that there is no problem money cannot solve and he has lots of it.

“The EFCC are clearly not interested in prosecuting the retired Admiral and wants the case struck out at the next adjourned date on the pretext that they could not find him when the retired Admiral is not even living in hiding. This is a man that had been in exile in Dubai, United Arabs Emirates for almost 4 years and returned to the country late last year using an illegal passport. Since his return, he has made news for using military and hoodlums to terrorise many residents of Zaria. He was in the news for assaulting several persons, so it is strange for the EFCC to say they cannot find him,” a source had said.

On the involvement of Kwari, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on anti-corruption and other financial crimes, the source had said, “The Senator is an old-time friend and business partner of the corrupt retired Admiral. The Senator has been fronting many businesses for the Admiral from proceeds of corruption. In turn, the Admiral has been sponsoring the political career of the Senator even before he got elected into the Senate.

“It is public knowledge that the building which houses SIDI’S BAKERY, situated at Old Savanna Bank building, PZ Area, Zaria, Kaduna State belongs to the retired Admiral. This same building was once used by Senator Abdu Kwari as his campaign office when he contested the election for the House of Representatives position. It is really funny and scandalous to read that the EFCC cannot find the Admiral when he is moving freely in Abuja, Kaduna and Zaria where he has many investments worth several billions of Naira from the proceeds of corruption.

“Senator Kwari sits on the Board of Directors of Pinnacle Hotel and Suits, Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital. Pinnacle Hotel solely belongs to the retired Admiral. The Senator in collaboration with the head of operations of the EFCC, Chukol, who is a bosom friend of the Admiral’s younger brother, Abdulbari Yusuf are the ones shielding the Retired Admiral from prosecution.

“Abdulbari Yusuf is the person whose audio recording of his conversation with an EFCC operative was leaked last year where he was heard scheming with the EFCC operative on how to sabotage the EFCC’s case against the Admiral. So far, neither the EFCC operative nor Abdulbari Yusuf has been brought to book.

“On the other hand, the current House of Representatives’ House chairman on Appropriation and former Chairman House Committee on Defense and also former Chairman House Committee on Army, the powerful Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara is another close friend and business partner of the corrupt retired Admiral. The Admiral purchased one of his hotels, Emerald Hotel and Suits, Kaduna from Hon. Betara. It is worthy of note that Betara sits on the Board of Emerald Hotels which has another branch in Zaria.

“Interestingly, the EFCC had in 2021 marked Emerald Hotels Zaria and Emerald Hotels Kaduna for investigations but the Admiral asked his staff to wipe it clean and business has continued since then. EFCC operatives are deliberately stalling the case of the Admiral before the Federal High Court, Abuja because they are in the process of striking a deal with the Admiral so that he can keep his remaining loot.

“It will be recalled that in 2018, the Federal High Court Abuja, presided over by Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu made an order of permanent forfeiture of over N500million from some of the bank Accounts of the retired Admiral. He returned to the country through Niger Republic border using an illegal passport procured from the Nigerian Immigration Service. He returned to consolidate and revive his several investments worth billions of Naira.”