The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigation into a petition by international aid agency, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), against its former country director, Mr. Fred Adeola Omosebi and a pastor, Owolabi Oyeleke Alabi as well as two others, Tolulope Omosebi and Tobi Owolabi.
The petition alleged that the named persons fraudulently misappropriated funds of the agency running into several thousands of dollars and millions of Euros.
The petition to the EFCC by the ADRA through the firm of Heptagon and Associates based in Abuja, said that between 2014 and 2017, it received over $300, 000 for projects execution in Ubakala with Pastor Alabi, Mr. Fred Owosebi and Mr. Amos Ibedu as signatories.
The petitioners alleged that the trio misappropriated the funds and diverted same into private accounts.
The same scenario was said to have happened again between 2016 and 2018 involving 2.7 million Euros.
Also, another petition dated February 2020 seen by our correspondent addressed to the Inspector General of Police by ADRA solicitors alleged that Elder Omosebi tried to rape a staff of ADRA, Ms. Grace Heavens.
“The suspect who is a ‘Big’ elder in the Church makes boast that he will find his way,” round the rape allegation.
In an earlier petition to the FCT Commissioner of Police dated December 11, 2019 on the rape allegation, it was stated that “Our client informed us that while she was working at Babcock Guest House Abuja, Elder Fred approached her and offered her employment in ADRA Yola. He provided flight ticket for her and hotel accommodation to her surprise she was put in the same room with elder for three (3) nights. She stated that it was the worst nights of her life as the elder made spirited attempts to have sex with her.”
The petition further stated that “our client further states that the organization employed her. However, Elder Fred persisted in trying to rape her,” noting that “First he demoted her then he stopped her salary entirely.”
According to the petitioners, “ADRA Nigeria does not condone sexual exploitation under any guise, we urge you to investigate this matter and bring the culprit to book.”
Our correspondent further learnt that the anti-graft agency’s investigation has polarized the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Abuja as majority of members have called for the stepping aside of Elder Omosebi pending the conclusion of the matter.
In the petition alleging fraud, the peitioners said, “ADRA Nigeria has a project implementation area in Northern Nigeria: Maiduguri. The applicable financial policy of ADRA Nigeria states that “each work advance must be cleared by returning the appropriate receipts and any remaining funds within one week unless other arrangements are made with the supervisor according to financial policy of ADRA Nigeria also specified that “all proper documentation must be provided before approval of check one week unless other arrangements are made with the superior.
“Incidentally, the Country Director of ADRA Nigeria Mr. Fredrick Omosebi breached the financial policy of ADRA Nigeria. Several instances abound,” the petition reads.
“Several cheques amounting to NGN2.774, 000 (Two MILLION, Seven hundred and seventy four thousand Naira only) was withdrawn from ADRA Bank Account transferred to the account of the former Project Accountant Mr. Gbenga Ayeni and paid to the Country Director Mr. Fredrick Omosebi. The Country Director acknowledged receipts of the funds. Available documents do not show that there was explanation by the Country Director as the flow of transactions, the procedure relating to procurement, payment to suppliers/beneficiaries in accordance with applicable policies.
“A contract of NGN2,328,000 (Two million, three hundred and twenty eight thousandNaira only) sighed with Sharutea Investment for car rental. Two transactions amounting to NGN100,000 (One hundred thousand Naira only) and NGN200, 000 (Two hundred thousand Naira only) were supposed to be paid to vendor for car rental. The said payment was made in cash by the Country Director.
“There is overpayment of a vendor with pre-signed cheque to the tune of NGN95,600 (Ninety five thousand sis hundred Naira only)
“The Country Director authorized a payment for himself for the purpose of school fees at Babcock University amounting to NGN1,125, 000 (One million, one hundred twenty five thousand Naira only) without board approval.
“The Country Director incurred travel expenses of NGN399,178, 00 (Three hundred and ninety nine thousand, one hundred and seventy eight Naira only) that he attended an annual meeting of ADRA Worldwide while he did not attend.
“Payment by ADRA Nigeria of staff without supporting documents totaling NGN9,891,500 (Nine million, eight hundred and ninety one thousand five hundred Naira only).
“Further it is our clients grievance that Mr. Fred the Country Director siphoned money by paying N90, 000 monthly to his wife who was not a staff, through a Diamond Bank Account Number 0093891681 in her name, Omosebi Tolulope Ruth.
“Staff of ADRA Nigeria were compelled illegally to remit 20% of their salaries into a UBA Account Number 2017025920 it was called “sustestation” this illegal deduction was to the knowledge of the Board Chairman,” the petitioners alleged.
According to the petition, “Several Bank accounts was opened and strangers were made signatories to these accounts. The foreign currencies were exchanged in the black market and the exchange rate was not reported.
In the petition dated January 13, 2020, the petitioners prayed the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to use his office to cause an investigation into the allegations and bring the alleged perpetrators to book.
Also, an FCT Upper Area Court has issued a warrant of arrest for the principal suspect, Fred Omosebi following criminal compliant by the ADRA.