Alleged N5.6 billion fraud: HURIWA calls for former NIRSAL MD’s arrest

On Monday, Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, was demanded to be detained over an alleged N5.6 billion wheat fraud by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA.

The secret dismissal of Abdulhameed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, following the alleged heist was denounced by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement.

The group claimed that the secrecy surrounding the entire corruption allegations once again exposed the President Buhari regime’s anti-graft campaign as a sham because deliberate actions to cover up the wrongdoing of public officials are in some ways complicit with the current administration.

Therefore, HURIWA instructed the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to detain Abdulhameed and bring charges against him if, as widely reported, he had been fired.

According to reports in the media, Abdulhameed was fired last week due to numerous accusations of corruption, including one involving a 2018 project wheat intended for farmers in the states of Kano and Jigawa. Since then, a different fellow has been chosen to serve as the CEO of NIRSAL, a $500 million non-bank financial institution established by the CBN with the responsibility of managing credit risks associated with Nigerian agribusiness.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko commented, saying, “The covert removal of Aliyu Abdulhameed as managing director of NIRSAL once more exposes the hypocrisy of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s purported anti-corruption campaign.

“A question cries out for solutions. Why was Abdulhameed’s dismissal a secret, and why hasn’t this government officially confirmed the widely reported rumors of his disgraceful exit for more than 48 hours? Why was he removed despite the fact that the former MD had assured some civil society organizations that he was innocent and that the whole thing was a set-up? Nigerians are once again aware of the grandiose nature of Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign thanks to this elaborate charade.

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“HURIWA demands Abdulhameed’s immediate arrest and prosecution if, as is claimed, Buhari fired him because he discovered that he was wanted for alleged large-scale fund thefts. The EFCC and the ICPC should do their work, arrest the fellow and charge him in court. Anything short of this is injustice. And if his removal is politically motivated, then he should be reinstated with immediate effect.

“Sadly, Nigerians are alarmed at the alleged corruption perpetrated by government officials under Buhari who promised to fight graft pre-2015. The case of the former Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, is still fresh in mind.

“Also that of the former chairperson of the defunct, Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina; then acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu; then Director-General, of the National Broadcasting Commission, Modibbo Kawu; former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman; amongst others. There are many more but only time will expose them.”

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