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Sunday, 8 May 2016

My Side Of The Story On Fund Recoveries Allegation By George Uboh -AGF Malami

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has explained his role in the allegation levelled against him by one, George Uboh over the recovery of some alleged funds stashed away by individuals in different Nigerian banks as well as some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This is contained in a letter Malami wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari through the office of the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari, and dated 4th April, 2016 with Reference Number HAGF/SH/2016/Vol.1/20 refuting the spurious allegations.
In a press release made available by his spokesman, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, over the weekend, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice described as false the claims by Dr. George Uboh that he deliberately frustrated him in his effort to recover the over N300 billion his company, Panic Alert Security Systems (“PASS”) traced to some Nigerian banks.
The Minister also stated as untrue the insinuations that he made an unholy alliance with the banking sector mafia not to cooperate with PASS, and/or that he promised Access Bank that he would call Dr. Uboh to soft pedal on the bank, Malami has this to say:
Attorney general and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami “I must state that the above allegations are untrue, incorrect, false, a figment of the imagination of the author and a smear campaign by Dr. Uboh to tarnish my name. I did not make, never made and will never make any alliance with anyone in and outside of the banking industry to frustrate PASS or any firm from recovering any FGN’s funds stashed/trapped in the listed banks or any bank or company in Nigeria or elsewhere.”
He said, “In demonstration of my firm commitment to the recovery efforts of the FGN, I gave PASS a letter titled: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN dated 17th February, 2016, introducing PASS to the aforesaid banks/financial institutions.
“The aforesaid Letter of Engagement dated 9th February, 2016 and the subsequent Letter of Introduction dated 17th February, 2016 (“HAGF Letters”) were given to PASS on the firm understanding that PASS had already identified and/or tracked specific FGN funds stashed/trapped in the aforementioned banks and that PASS would promptly embark on processes that would lead to actual recovery and remittance of the traced funds into the designated account of the FGN in line with the proposals submitted, presentations made and the terms contained in its letter of 9th February, 2016.”
On why he had to revoke the letter of engagement given to PASS, Malami said he took the action when he discovered that it was on window-shopping mission upon receipt of the letter by going beyond his brief, embarking on subtle threats to all Nigerian banks, some private individuals and entities solely to shop for data and information to execute the brief contrary to the representations made to the Minister.
Malami’s averred that, “In a manner that clearly demonstrated that PASS was merely on a voyage of information and window-shopping, PASS, upon receipt of the letters hereinabove mentioned, went to town and unilaterally expanded the scope of its brief far beyond the Thirteen (13) banks covered by his brief and embarked on subtle threats to all Nigerian banks, some private individuals and entities solely to shop for data and information to execute the brief contrary to the representations made to me.” George Uboh
He added that, “Its only defence for the ultra vires were the fraudulent, baseless, unsubstantiated and illogical inferences that my letter of introduction dated 17th February, 2016 has endlessly expanded/enlarged the scope of its instructions while in actual sense, the said letter was expressly issued ‘pursuant to a February 9, 2016’s letter of engagement’ earlier given to PASS.
“In support of the claims contained in paragraph 9 above, I was inundated with the excesses of Dr. George Uboh of PASS and later found out that PASS actually wrote several banks (more than Thirteen (13) banks), private individuals, corporate entities (national and multinationals), government agencies and virtually all FGN’s Ministries soliciting for data, information, official records, remittances (funds and stocks) and records of whereabouts of all forfeited assets not yet disposed by some of the FGN agencies, amongst other things. George Uboh prison information in the US
“For the record, the entities, agencies and private individuals written by PASS in addition to the Thirteen (13) banks specifically/actually covered by its mandate include but not limited to the followings:
i. All Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
ii.     ALL Managing Directors of 25 Money Deposit Banks (MDBs) in Nigeria
iii.    Managing Director, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited
vii.   Managing Director, CitiBank Nigeria Limited
viii.  Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc                  
ix.    Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
x.     Immediate Past M.D, AMCON
xi.    Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
xii.    Former Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee
xiii.   ALGON and some of its past and serving Executives
xiv.    DG/CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)
xv.     Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Offences Commission
xvi.    Inspector General of the Police (IGP)
xvii.  Ag Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
xviii. Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC)
xix     Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA)
xxi.    Ag Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
xxii     Immediate Past Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji A. Dikko Inde
xxiii   Immediate Past AGF & Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoke, SAN
xxiv   Ex-Minister of State for Finance/Minister of Finance, Mrs Nenadi Usman
xxv.   Immediate Past Governor of Akwa Ibom State,Senator Godswill Akpabio
xxvi  Mr. Tony Chukwu (who allegedly executed contracts on behalf of NDDC)
xxvii  Managing Director, Technip Offshore Nigeria Ltd.
xxviii Managing Director, Halliburton Energy Services Ltd.
Xxix   Managing Director, Intels Nigeria Ltd.
xxx   Managing Director, TransOcean
xxxi  Managing Director, Marubeni Nigeria Ltd
xxxii Managing Director, Nobles Drilling Nigeria Ltd.
xxxiii Managing Director, Japanese Gas Corporation Nig. Ltd.
xxxiv Managing Director, Snamprogetti
xxxv  Managing Director, SIEMEMS
xxxvi Managing Director, Julius Berger Nig. Ltd.
xxxvii Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria
xxxviii Accountant General of the Federation
xxxiv  Immediate Past Executive Secretary, TETFUND, Prof. Sulaiman Bagoro and other individuals not covered by PASS’ letter of engagement.”
Comrade Salihu Othman Isah further added that, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice also disclosed other excesses of Dr. George Uboh to include soliciting and/or requesting banks’ officials to allow him access to certain encrypted systems in order to enable him extract relevant information to execute the brief without appreciation of the security implications of such a delicate venture on Nigeria’s financial sector and without any prior discussions with and approval from me.
Also, Malami hinted that the PASS boss was also going about the execution of the brief in such a manner that would clearly embarrass the Federal Government, hence his decision to revoke the letter of engagement in order to avert any likelihood of security breach of high magnitude in the banking sector.
“I also gathered that Dr. George Uboh was soliciting and/or requesting banks’ officials to allow him access to certain encrypted systems in order to enable him to extract relevant information to execute the brief without appreciation of the security implications of such a delicate venture in Nigeria’s financial sector and without any prior discussions with and approval from me.
“In view of acting outside the scope of its brief and given the ways and manners Dr. Uboh was going about the execution of the brief which was clear to me would embarrass the FGN, and in order to avert any likelihood of security breach of high magnitude in the banking sector, I exercised my power under the letter of engagement dated 9th February 2017 by revoking the letter of engagement I earlier gave PASS vide my letter dated 24th March 2016.
“My decision to revoke the instructions was further re-enforced by the startling revelations, which were not disclosed to me by the personality (Dr. Uboh) that was requesting for those sensitive materials from the banks that he was indeed an ex-convict prosecuted after US law enforcement agents carried out a major raid on a credit card and bank fraud ring led by George Uboh in Georgia in 1992. He reportedly came out of jail on 16th January 2001.”
“Your Excellency, permit me to state emphatically that I did not fail to recover the above captioned sum allegedly traced by PASS as alleged. The fact is that the terms of letter of engagement I gave to PASS on 9th February, 2016 did not only place a duty on PASS to trace funds trapped in the listed banks (which to all intents and purposes PASS did not do prior to my revocation of the letter of engagement of PASS for acting outside its brief), the said letter of engagement imposed on PASS duties to trace, recover and remit FGN’s funds trapped in the Thirteen (13) banks listed in paragraph 2 of the letter.”
Malami also stated that, “I find it strange to read from PASS that I failed to recover the funds when it was clear that PASS had a duty to trace, recover and remit the funds with me providing requisite instructions and authority for PASS to do so which I did. To demonstrate my willingness, readiness and fidelity to the recovery exercise, I did not only give PASS a letter of engagement on the 9th February, 2016, I went further to give a letter introducing PASS to the Thirteen (13) banks covered by its brief on the 17th February, 2016, wherein I solicited the requisite cooperation, information and support of the banks to enable it carry out the recovery task on behalf of the FGN.
“Apart from the above, it is worthy of note that PASS did not submit any report to my office showing the tracing of the captioned sum or any sum at all upon which one could ascertain if PASS validly/actually traced the sum until after revocation of the engagement. Assuming without conceding that it traced, it was incumbent on it to recover and ensure remittance to the coffers of the FGN which never occurred during the subsistence of the engagement.”
“Specifically, the allegation that Access Bank met with me and extracted words of promise to the effect that I would talk to Dr. Uboh to soft pedal on the bank is unfounded and baseless. I state it with all sense of responsibility that no official of any Bank or anyone acting for the Access Bank or any other bank met with me in connection with PASS’ brief or any other recovery briefs. To allege that he sent a warning to me through my Personal Assistant that I should not call him on Access Bank and that I revoked his engagement because I could not talk to him is outright falsehood and the fact remains that I have never ever made an attempt to call him in life at any time prior to the engagement or thereafter and the idea of passing a warning on account of my purported call does not arise.”
To respond to the allegation that he refused to actualize the Presidential Committee on Asset Verification to be set up to probe the EFCC, the Attorney General of the Federation replied this way in his reply to Mr. President: “Your Excellency would recall that we discussed the need to probe/verify the assets of the EFCC, ICPC and PENCOM following which your Excellency gave a directive on the setting up of Three (3) separate committees to verify the assets of the above-mentioned agencies.
“It is clearly outside the scope of the engagement of Dr. Uboh to demand or raise issues that borders on the assignment in respect of which I am answerable and accountable to the Presidency. My opinion over this issue has been a subject of periodic report to the Presidency and my case is put to rest on that basis over this issue.”
“On the PASS’ claim that it engaged experts/contractors both in Nigeria and in the UK who purportedly worked with it to achieve ‘tracing’ of N300 Billion within 27 days, I state that PASS first laid claim to the purported engagement of experts/consultants through its letters to my office after I had revoked its engagement for acting outside its mandate.
“As a matter of fact, PASS just forwarded a preliminary report fraudulently backdated 23rd March, 2016 and served same on my office on the 29th March, 2016 after my revocation of its mandate in order for PASS to create an impression that the report had come in before the revocation. The claims of Dr. Uboh to the effect that he had indicated his readiness to submit a preliminary finding on some banks but for my official trip to Dubai is an afterthought and untrue as submission of reports, letters or documents are carried out in my Registry without my involvement before onward delivery to me by the designated officials.
 “Assuming without conceding that PASS had intended to submit a report to my office before the revocation, its claim can hold no water given the fact that the same PASS which claimed it had a report to submit could not promptly furnish my office with the documents I demanded for within 48 hours of receipt of my revocation letter pursuant to paragraph 5 of the revocation letter dated 24th March, 2016.
 “On Dr. Uboh’s claim that he worked under me at the Federal Ministry of Justice, I state that he had never and is not working under me at the Ministry or elsewhere. My decision to revoke PASS’ engagement is in the best interest of Nigeria and it is worthy of note that the issue of Five (5%) percent fee does not arise as conditions for earning such is not fulfilled in any manner whatsoever by PASS.”
In his letter to President Buhari, the HAGF/MOJ concluded that, “Your Excellency, the above are my comments on the three petitions forwarded to your Excellency by Dr. George Uboh dated 4th April, 2016. I did confirm I gave his firm, PASS an instruction to trace, recover and remit FGN’s funds tapped in Thirteen (13) banks contained in the Letter of Engagement I gave him on the 9th February, 2016.
“I further gave him a letter of introduction to the stated banks dated 17th February, 2016 when he asked for it so that he would get the required cooperation and support of the banks. However, I revoked the letter of engagement vide my letter dated 24th April, 2016 due to the fact that he acted outside of his brief by unilaterally expanding/extending the scope of the brief as evidenced in paragraph 10 of this Reply letter. The allegations against me forwarded by Dr. Uboh are baseless and I urge your Excellency to discountenance them as they are designed to disparage my office.”
Below is the full text of the letter to the Presidency by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
RE:   1: PETITION: AGF MALAMI’S FAILURE TO RECOVER OVER N300 BILLION   TRACED BY OUR FIRM WITHIN 27 DAYS; AGF WORKED AGAINST US
       2: PETITION: ABUBAKAR MALAMI’S FAILURE TO ALLOW US TRACE   THE 1.993 TRILLION NAIRA EFCC FAILED TO REMIT TO THE FGN,  WHILE PROMISING TO SET UP A PHANTOM COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE EFCC
A Brief Background:
I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 15th April, 2016 together with an attached letter addressed to His Excellency, Mr. President by Messrs Panic Alert Security Systems (“PASS”) dated 4th April, 2016 and other accompanying documents, wherein you requested that I review the attached submissions contained in the documents and reply with comments as most appropriate.                                                                                
2.     By a proposal submitted to the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (“OHAGF”) dated 3rd February, 2016, PASS, through its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. George Uboh, represented that its firm has the requisite capacity, competence and professional skills to render asset recovery services to the Federal Government of Nigeria (“FGN”) and that he had traced certain huge sums of money trapped in certain banks/financial institutions and other listed MDAs with firm assurances to recover and remit same to the coffers of the FGN if engaged by the FGN through the OHAGF.
3.      As a follow-up to the proposal referred to in paragraph 2 above, I acceded to his request to have further discussions with me with respect to his claims to recover and remit FGN’s funds trapped in certain Nigerian banks.
4.      Persuaded by his assurances and representations that he had actually traced the funds trapped in certain banks and MDAs with capacity to recover and remit same to the FGN, I decided to test his claims and restricted his instructions to Banks only and issued a letter of engagement in favour of its firm for asset recovery services on behalf of the FGN with specific mandate to trace and recover the alleged trapped funds in the following Thirteen (13) listed Nigerian banks: Access Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Limited, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Union Bank, Spring Bank – Enterprise Bank, AfriBank – Mainstreet Bank, Oceanic Bank – EcoBank, Bank PHB – Keystone Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Wema Bank, on the terms and terms expressly contained in the letter of engagement dated 9th February, 2016, among which was a term that payment of professional fees for the recoveries shall be contingent on actual recoveries (See Attached – Annexure 1)
Terms of the Engagement of PASS:
5.   For purpose of emphasis, the fundamental terms upon which PASS’ engagement rested are as contained in paragraphs 2 (iii.) (v.) & (vi.) of the aforesaid Letter of Engagement herein-below stated:            
(iii.)   A success fee of five percent (5%) of actual recoveries made and      remitted to  the designated accounts of the Federal Government      of Nigeria shall be paid to your firm as professional fees. This fee    shall be paid in respect of each recovery as soon as possible after        effective receipt of same by the Federal Government of Nigeria;     
(v.)    Your firm shall request and obtain the express approval of the undersigned before entering into any settlement, compromise or bargain (howsoever described)       involving a financial      claim, with any party involved in any proceedings or      processes connected  with this brief;
(vi.)   Without prejudice to my powers to demand a report of your activities at any time, you shall furnish my office with a monthly report (not exceeding the fifth day         of the succeeding month) detailing your activities and progress made, for the        month in question.
6.     By its letter dated 11th February, 2016, PASS wrote the OHAGF accepting all the terms contained in the Letter of Engagement of 9th February, 2016, assuring me of its diligence and professionalism in the discharge of the duties and obligations contained in the letter.
7.    Upon acceptance of the terms of engagement, Dr. George Uboh of PASS later requested and/or discussed with me to the effect that introduction of PASS to the Thirteen (13) listed banks/financial institutions (which are the definite/specific targets of the letter of engagement of 9th February, 2016 issued to PASS by me) would go a long way to enable PASS get the required cooperation and support from the Thirteen (13) Banks covered by their letter. In demonstration of my firm commitment to the recovery efforts of the FGN, I gave PASS a letter titled: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN dated 17th February, 2016, introducing PASS to the aforesaid banks/financial institutions ‘pursuant to its letter of engagement dated 9th February, 2016. (See Attached – Annexure 2)
8.   The aforesaid Letter of Engagement dated 9th February, 2016 and the subsequent Letter of Introduction dated 17th February, 2016 (“HAGF Letters”) were given to PASS on the firm understanding that PASS had already identified and/or traced specific FGN funds stashed/trapped in the aforementioned banks and that PASS would promptly embark on processes that would lead to actual recovery and remittance of the traced funds into the designated account of the FGN in line with the proposals submitted, presentations made and the terms contained in its letter of 9th February, 2016.
Revocation of PASS’ Letter of Engagement – How PASS Acted Outside of Its Brief:   
9.      In a manner that clearly demonstrated that PASS was merely on a voyage of information and window – shopping, PASS, upon receipt of the letters hereinabove mentioned, went to town and unilaterally expanded the scope of its brief far beyond the Thirteen (13) banks covered by his brief and embarked on subtle threats to all Nigerian banks, some private individuals and entities solely to shop for data and information to execute the brief contrary to the representations made to me. Its only defence for the ultra vires were the fraudulent, baseless, unsubstantiated and illogical inferences that my letter of introduction dated 17th February, 2016 has endlessly expanded/enlarged the scope of its instructions while in actual sense, the said letter was expressly issued ‘pursuant to a February 9, 2016’s letter of engagement’ earlier given to PASS.
10.   In support of the claims contained in paragraph 9 above, I was inundated with the excesses of Dr. George Uboh of PASS and later found out that PASS actually wrote several banks (more than Thirteen (13) banks), private individuals, corporate entities (national and multinationals), government agencies and virtually all FGN’s Ministries soliciting for data, information, official records, remittances (funds and stocks) and records of whereabouts of all forfeited assets not yet disposed by some of the FGN agencies, amongst other things. For the record, the entities, agencies and private individuals written by PASS in addition to the Thirteen (13) banks specifically/actually covered by its mandate include but not limited to the followings:
i.      All Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
ii.     ALL Managing Directors of 25 Money Deposit Banks (MDBs) in Nigeria
iii.    Managing Director, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited
vii.   Managing Director, CitiBank Nigeria Limited
viii.  Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc                   
ix.    Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
x.     Immediate Past M.D, AMCON
xi.    Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
xii.    Former Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee
xiii.   ALGON and some of its past and serving Executives
xiv.    D.G/CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)
xv.     Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Offences Commission
xvi.    Inspector General of the Police (IGP)
xvii.   A.g Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
xviii.  Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC)
xix     Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA)
xxi.    A.g Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
xxii     Immediate Past Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji A. Dikko Inde
xxiii   Immediate Past AGF & Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoke, SAN
xxiv   Ex Minister of State for Finance/Minister of Finance,Mrs Nenadi Usman
xxv.   Immediate Past Governor of Akwa Ibom State,Senator Godswill Akpabio
xxvi. Mr. Tony Chukwu (who allegedly executed contracts on behalf of NDDC)
xxvii  Managing Director, Technip Offshore Nigeria Ltd.
xxviii Managing Director, Halliburton Energy Services Ltd.
Xxix   Managing Director, Intels Nigeria Ltd.
xxx   Managing Director, TransOcean
xxxi  Managing Director, Marubeni Nigeria Ltd
xxxii Managing Director, Nobles Drilling Nigeria Ltd.
xxxiii Managing Director, Japanese Gas Corporation Nig. Ltd.
xxxiv Managing Director, Snamprogetti
xxxv  Managing Director, SIEMEMS
xxxvi Managing Director, Julius Berger Nig. Ltd.
xxxvii Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria
xxxviii Accountant General of the Federation
xxxiv  Immediate Past Executive Secretary, TETFUND, Prof. Sulaiman Bagoro and other individuals not covered by PASS’ letter of engagement.(See Attached – Annextures 3 – 38)
      Other Excesses of Dr. George Uboh of PASS  
  11.    I also gathered that Dr. George Uboh was soliciting and/or requesting banks’ officials to allow him access to certain encrypted systems in order to enable him extract relevant information to execute the brief without appreciation of the security implications of such a delicate venture on Nigeria’s financial sector and without any prior discussions with and approval from me.
12.   In view of acting outside the scope of its brief and given the ways and manners Dr. Uboh was going about the execution of the brief which was clear to me would embarrass the FGN, and in order to avert any likelihood of security breach of high magnitude in the banking sector, I exercised my power under the letter of engagement dated 9th February, 2017 by revoking the letter of engagement I earlier gave PASS vide my letter dated 24th March, 2016 (See Attached – Annexure 39)
    Startling Revelations on the Past and Recent Convictions of Dr. Uboh for Serial Bank Fraud:
  13.    My decision to revoke the instructions was further re - enforced by the startling revelations, which were not disclosed to me by the personality (Dr. Uboh) that was requesting for those sensitive materials from the banks that he was indeed an ex - convict prosecuted after US law enforcement agents carried out a major raid on a credit card and bank fraud ring led by George Uboh in Georgia in 1992. He reportedly came out of jail on 16th January,2001.
  14.   As if history was repeating itself, the same Dr. Uboh of PASS recently described by the media as a serial fraudster was again prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment by Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo of the
Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja on the Monday 25th April, 2016 (fifteen (15) years after he was jailed in the US) for converting the assets of the defunct Police Equipment Foundation (PEF) to his own personal use.
15.   Few days after I revoked PASS’ letter of engagement on the 24th April, 2016, Dr. Uboh forwarded a letter to my office on the 29th March, 2016  titled: RE: TRACING OF TRAPPED FGN ASSETS - PRELIMINARY REPORT OF RECOVERABLES OF OVER $598,698, 197.65 USD; N47, 138, 807, 063.49 NAIRA, 151,919.02 GBP and fraudulently back - dated the letter to 23rd March, 2016 purposely to make it pre – date my revocation letter of 24th March, 2016 in order to create an impression that he had furnished me with a report prior to the  revocation. (See Attached – Annexure 40)
16.     In furtherance of his antics against my clear instructions and by extension, the FGN, Dr. Uboh again forwarded on the same 29th March, 2016, another letter titled: EXPERTE ORDER AGAINST NON – COMPLIANT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS and also fraudulently back - dated the letter to 23rd March, 2016 purposely to also make it pre – date the revocation letter of 24th March, 2016 in order to further create an impression that he had sought my approval to proceed to court for an exparte order prior to the revocation letter. (See Attached - Annexure 41)
17.    Still  back - dated letters, Dr. Uboh also forwarded on the same 29th March, 2016 another letter titled: RE: LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA; PRELIMINARY REPORT ON RECOVERABLE OF OVER $589, 698,195.00 USD; 47; N138, 807, 004.00 NAIRA AND 23,517, 699.00 GPB, RE – REVOCATION OF LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA and also fraudulently back – dated it to 25th March,
   2016 - a date after my revocation letter wherein he made unsubstantiated claims and leveled allegations against me all in a bid to blackmail me, the allegations to which I  hereunder respond under a separate headings. (See Attached - Annexure 42)
18.     By a letter dated 11th April, 2016 and forwarded to my office on the same day titled: RE: LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA; PRELIMINARY REPORT ON RECOVERABLE OF OVER $589, 698,195.00 USD; 47; N138, 807, 004.00 NAIRA AND 23,517, 699.00 GBP, RE – REVOCATION OF LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA, Dr. Uboh forwarded a reminder on his earlier back – dated letter of 25th March, 2016 which was delivered to my office on the 29th March, 2016 with exact caption.
19.    By a letter dated 19th  April, 2016 and forwarded to my office on the same day titled: RE: LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA; PRELIMINARY REPORT ON RECOVERABLE OF OVER $589, 698,195.00 USD; N47, 138, 807, 004.00 NAIRA AND 23,517, 699.00 GBP, RE – REVOCATION OF LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR ASSET RECOVERY SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA – SEVEN DAY NOTICE TO RESOLVE OUR 5% OUTSTANDING FEES, Dr. Uboh threatened, made false claims and demanded for payment of a Five (5%) fee based on his ‘speculative tracing’ despite failing to make any recover from the banks covered by his instructions or any bank or entity whatsoever before the revocation of his letter of engagement on the 24th March, 2016 on the ground that PASS acted and/or engaged in ‘various acts which are outside of its brief.
          REVIEWS AND COMMENTS ON THE THREE (3) LETTERS ADDRESED TO HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. PRESIDENT BY PASS ALL DATED 4TH APRIL, 2016
  20.   Central to the three (3) letters addressed to your Excellency, Mr. President by PASS on the 4th April, 2016 are:
(i.) The allegation that I failed to recover N300 Billion allegedly traced by PASS within 27 days
(ii.) The allegations that I made an unholy alliance with the banking sector mafia not to cooperate with PASS, and/or that I promised Access Bank that I would call Dr. Uboh to soft pedal on the Bank and;
(iii.) The allegation that I did not do anything to actualize the Presidential Committee on Assets Verification to be set up to probe EFCC. For the purpose of clarity and for the record, I would like to comment on each of stated allegations as below:
Allegation that I failed To Recover N300 Billion Allegedly Traced By PASS Within 27 Days:
21.  Your Excellency, permit me to state emphatically that I did not fail to recover the above captioned sum allegedly traced by PASS as alleged. The fact is that the terms of letter of engagement I gave to PASS on 9th February, 2016 did not only place a duty on PASS to trace funds trapped in the listed banks (which to all intents and purposes PASS did not do prior to my revocation of the letter of engagement of PASS for acting outside its brief), the said letter of engagement imposed on PASS duties to trace, recover and remit FGN’s funds trapped in the Thirteen (13) banks listed in paragraph 2 of the letter. I find it strange to read from PASS that I failed to recover the funds when it was clear that PASS had a duty to trace, recover and remit the funds with me providing requisite
  instructions and authority for PASS to do so which I did. To demonstrate my willingness, readiness and fidelity to the recovery exercise, I did not only give PASS a letter of engagement on the 9th February, 2016, I went further to give a letter introducing PASS to the Thirteen (13) banks covered by its brief on the 17th February, 2016, wherein I solicited the requisite cooperation, information and support of the banks to enable it carry out the recovery task on behalf of the FGN.
22.    Apart from the above, it is worthy of note that PASS did not submit any report to my office showing the tracing of the captioned sum or any sum at all upon which one could ascertain if PASS validly/actually traced the sum until after revocation of the engagement. Assuming without conceding that it traced, it was incumbent on it to recover and ensure remittance to the coffers of the FGN which never occurred during the subsistence of the engagement.
The allegations that I made an unholy alliance with the banking sector mafia not to cooperate with PASS, and/or that I promised Access Bank that I would call Dr. Uboh to soft pedal on the Bank
  23.    I must state that the above allegations are untrue, incorrect, false, a figment of the imagination of the author and a smear campaign by Dr. Uboh to tarnish my name. I did not make, never made and will never make any alliance with anyone in and outside of the banking industry to frustrate PASS or any firm from recovering any FGN’s funds stashed/trapped in the listed banks or any bank or company in Nigeria or elsewhere. Specifically, the allegation that Access Bank met with me and extracted words of promise to the effect that I would talk to Dr. Uboh to soft pedal on the bank is unfounded and baseless. I state it with
  all sense of responsibility that no official of any Bank or anyone acting for the Access Bank or any other bank met with me in connection with PASS’ brief or any other recovery briefs. To allege that he sent a warning to me through my Personal Assistant that I should not call him on Access Bank and that I revoked his engagement because I could not talk to him is outright falsehood and the fact remains that I have never ever made an attempt to call him in life at any time prior to the engagement or thereafter and the idea of passing a warning on account of my purported call does not arise.
The allegation that I did not do anything to actualize the Presidential Committee on Assets Verification to be set up t probe EFCC.                                                                      
  24.    Your Excellency would recall that we discussed the need to probe/verify the assets of the EFCC, ICPC and PENCOM following which your Excellency gave a directive on the setting up of Three (3) separate committees to verify the assets of the above mentioned agencies. It is clearly outside the scope of the engagement of Dr. Uboh to demand or raise issues that borders on the assignment in respect of which I am answerable and accountable to the Presidency. My opinion over this issue has been a subject of period report to the Presidency and my case is put to rest on that basis over this issue.
  COMMENTS ON ALLEGALTIONS, INFERENCES DRAWN AND SPURIOUS CLAIMS MADE BY DR. GEORGE UBOH AS CONTAINED IN HIS TWO LETTERS BOTH DATED 23RD, MARCH, 2016 AND DELIVERED IN MY OFFICE ON THE 29TH MARCH, 2016; HIS LETTER DATED 25TH MARCH, 2016 AND DELIVERED IN MY OFFICE ON THE 29TH MARCH, 2016 AND LETTERS RESPECTIVELY DATED 11TH APRIL, 2016 AND 19TH APRIL, 2016 BOTH DELIVERED IN MY OFFICE ON THE SAME DATES.                              
  Comments On PASS’ 1st Letter of 23rd March, 2016 Delivered to the OHAGF on 29th March, 2016:
25.    My comment on Dr. Uboh’s claims that he carried out some investigative assignment for me which took him to Dubai and UK where he traced the sum of 23, 365, 781.00 GBP in cash and regarding Mrs Cecilia Ibru under Ocean Bank report which he claimed to have submitted on the 3rd March, 2016 (para 3 of his letter dated 25th March, 2016 but delivered to my office on 29th March, 2016), he did not carry out any investigative assignment as claimed as he only submitted an already prepared proposal wherein he claimed that he has the requisite skills, capability, information and could trace, recover and remit certain funds of the FGN trapped in certain Nigerian banks. The report he claimed to have submitted on the 3rd March, 2016 was a proposal he submitted to my office prior to further discussions with him and PASS’ eventual engagement by the OHAGF to recover for the FGN, which fact I expressly stated in paragraph 1 of the letter of engagement I gave to him on the 9th February, 2016 and as such, his claim that he had been working for and/or with me prior to his formal engagement is incorrect, untrue and false. His engagement was for the joint functions of tracing and recovery and not severable chargeable fee for tracing and recovery.
26.    On the claim by PASS in paragraph 4 of the letter under review to the effect that PASS  sought for and obtained an expansion of its mandate on the strength of my letter of 17th February,2016 titled: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, I hereby comment that the letter of 17th February, 2016 did not, never intended and never expanded the scope of PASS’ mandate as the letter was given ‘pursuant to the letter of engagement of 9th February, 2016 (See paragraph 1 of the said letter) and was only meant to introduce PASS to the Thirteen (13) banks covered by the letter of engagement and nothing more. The letter of introduction was actually in response to the request from PASS that introducing PASS to the Thirteen (13) banks would further enhance the cooperation and support of the stated banks and nothing more. It logically follows therefore that all other acts of PASS outside of the Thirteen (13) banks are ultra vires of PASS and as such, outside of its brief.
27.   Contrary to Dr. Uboh’s claims in paragraph 5 of the same letter that he had earlier indicated his readiness to submit a preliminary report of his findings on at least Eight (8) commercial banks for specific recoverable of over $598 Million USD, N47 Billion Naira and 23 Million GBP prior to my official trip to Dubai, I wish to state clearly that I have never had cause to discuss anything official with him, inclusive of my trip to Dubai much less of requesting a report from him before the stated trip. His engagement was official and such demands are officially done. A formal written communication could have provided insight as to the truthfulness of the allegation or otherwise. Dr. Uboh did not and never stated his intention to submit to me any report prior to my said trip as it could be seen that the said preliminary report was fraudulently back - dated 23rd March, 2016 and forwarded to and/or received in my office on the 29th March, 2016 – a period of Five (5) days after revocation of the letter of engagement on the ground that PASS acted outside of its brief.
28.    On the allegations contained in paragraphs 6, 7 & 10 of the letter to the effect that pressures were mounted on me to bungle the recovery by promising to give and/or giving soft landing to Access Bank, I state that there was no pressure whatsover mounted on me by Access Bank or any bank to revoke the letter of engagement of PASS. As a matter of fact, I exercised my discretion pursuant to paragraph 2 of the revoked Letter of Engagement and/or elected to terminate PASS’ engagement solely because PASS acted outside of the mandate I gave to it which mandate only covered Thirteen (13) banks, and his material non – disclosure of his conviction at the time of the instructions which could have aided the exercise of my discretion in granting or refusing to grant my instructions.
29.    With regards to the demand for a Five (5) percent fees by PASS, I state that the terms of the revoked letter of engagement imposed on PASS the obligations to trace, recover and remit the stashed funds into the coffers of the FGN before PASS could lay any claim, earn or entitle to any fee under the engagement. However, PASS neither recovered/remitted any amount to the FGN nor submit any report of actual and verifiable tracing before the revocation of the engagement on the 24th March, 2016 and as such, PASS is not entitled to any fee from the FGN having not fulfilled the condition stated in paragraph 2 (iii) of the revoked letter of engagement.
Comments On PASS’ 2nd Letter of 23rd March, 2016 Delivered to the OHAGF on 29th March, 2016:
                                                                                            30.     My comment on the second letter of PASS dated 23rd March, 2016 and served on the OHAGF on the 29th March, 2019 after I had revoked its letter of engagement on the 24th March,2016 wherein it purportedly submitted a preliminary report for the first time after its engagement is that the said preliminary report came after revocation of the engagement and to the extent that PASS had not recovered and remitted any amount into the coffers of the FGN before the revocation, PASS has not earned the fee and cannot lay any  claim to such fees for assignments not executed as provided by paragraph 2 (iii) of the revoked Letter of Engagement.
Comments On PASS’ 3rd Letter of 23rd March, 2016 Delivered to the OHAGF on 29th March, 2016:
                                                                            31.    My comment on the third letter of PASS dated 23rd March, 2016 and served on the OHAGF on the 29th March, 2019 (a period of Five (5) days after revocation of PASS’ letter of engagement) titled: Exparte Order Against Non - Compliant Financial Institutions, wherein PASS sought my approval to proceed to court for an exparte order, is that upon revocation of PASS’ letter of engagement on the 24th March, 2016, its relationship with my office, and by extension, the FGN with respect to the brief extinguished and as such, PASS has no legal, moral or logical basis for seeking my approval after the revocation. Furthermore, the allegation that Access Bank penetrated my office to stall further investigation is ill conceived and baseless as I did not, never had and have not in any way prevented PASS from carrying on its mandate prior to the revocation of 24th April, 2016 which was clearly predicated on its acting outside of the mandate I gave it.
Comments on PASS’ Letter Dated 11th April, 2016 and Served On the Same Day:
32.    My comment on PASS’ letter of 11th April, 2016 served on same day reminding and demanding my expeditious action on the subject matter of an already revoked and extinguished mandate is misplaced, needless and off the point. It needs be borne in mind that there was/is nothing for me to act on in the circumstances of revocation of the PASS’ engagement solely for acting outside of its brief.
  Comments on PASS’ Letter of 19th April, 2016 and Served on the Same Day:
                                                    33.   My comment on PASS’ letter dated 19th April, 2016 and served on my office the same day after I had revoked its letter of engagement on the 24th March,2016 sub titled: ‘SEVEN – DAY NOTICE TO RESOLVE A FIVE (5) PERCENT OUTSTANDING FEE’  wherein Dr. Uboh referred to his letters of
  25th March, 2016 and 11th April, 2016 (both letters written, dated and served on the OHAGF after revocation of its engagement letter) and  further claimed that its mandate was to trace and not to recover funds, I wish to state that the provision of paragraph 2 of the revoked letter of engagement clearly mandated PASS to trace, recover and remit FGN’s funds trapped in the Thirteen (13) Banks listed in the same paragraph and to the extent that PASS had not evidently traced, recovered and remitted any fund to the FGN as contemplated by the cited paragraph, PASS has not earned any fee, is not entitled to any fee and  would amount to a mere rip off of the FGN to pay PASS any fee. 
34.    On the PASS’ claim that it engaged experts/contractors both in Nigeria and in the UK who purportedly worked with it to achieve ‘tracing’ of N300 Billion within 27 days, I state that PASS first laid claim to the purported engagement of experts/consultants through its letters to my office after I had revoked its engagement for acting outside its mandate. As a matter of fact, PASS just forwarded a preliminary report fraudulently back – dated 23rd March, 2016 and served same on my office on the 29th March, 2016 after my revocation of its mandate in order for PASS to create an impression that the report had come in before the revocation. The claims of Dr. Uboh to the effect that he had indicated his readiness to submit a preliminary finding on some banks but for my official trip to Dubai is an afterthought and untrue as submission of reports, letters or documents are carried out in my Registry without my involvement before onward delivery to me by the designated officials.
 35.   Assuming without conceding that PASS had intended to submit a report to my office before the revocation, its claim can hold no water given the fact that  the same PASS which claimed it had a report to submit could not promptly furnish my office with the documents I demanded for within 48 hours of receipt of my revocation letter pursuant to paragraph 5 of the revocation letter dated 24th March, 2016.
36.    On Dr. Uboh’s claim that he worked under me at the Federal Ministry of Justice, I state that he had never and is not working under me at the Ministry or elsewhere. My decision to revoke PASS’ engagement is in the best interest of Nigeria and it is worthy of note that the issue of Five (5%) percent fee does not arise as conditions for earning such is not fulfilled in any manner whatsover by PASS.
               Conclusion:
37.  Your Excellency, the above are my comments on the three petitions forwarded to your Excellency by Dr. George Uboh dated 4th April, 2016. I did confirm I gave his firm, PASS an instruction to trace, recover and remit FGN’s funds tapped in Thirteen (13) banks contained in the Letter of Engagement I gave him on the 9th February, 2016. I further gave him a letter of introduction to the stated banks dated 17th February, 2016 when he asked for it so that he would get the required cooperation and support of the banks. However, I revoked the letter of engagement vide my letter dated 24th April, 2016 due to the fact that he acted outside of his brief by unilaterally expanding/extending the scope of the brief as evidenced in paragraph 10 of this Reply letter. The allegations against me forwarded by Dr. Uboh are baseless and I urge your Excellency to discountenance them as they are designed to disparage my office.
    38.    While I appreciate your Excellency for the confidence reposed in me, I wish to assure your Excellency of my firm commitment and unalloyed loyalty.
  39.  Your Excellency, the above is for your consideration as I seize this opportunity to re - establish to your Excellency the assurances of my highest esteem and consideration.
  Abubakar Malami, SAN
Hon. Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice
          ANNEXTURES:
i.        A copy of Letter of Engagement dated 9th February, 2016
ii.         A copy of Letter of Acceptance dated 11th February, 2016
iii.        A copy of Letter of Introduction dated 17th February, 2016                  
v.          Copies of Letters to ALL Ministers of the Federal Republic of 
             Nigeria all dated 29th February, 2016
vi.         Copies of Letters to ALL Money Deposits Banks in Nigeria dated 7th  
             March, 2016
vii.        A copy of Letter to the M.D, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited dated  
             26th February, 2016
viii.       A copy of Letter to the M.D, Citi Bank Nigeria Limited dated 26th
             February, 2016
xiv.         A copy of Letter to the M.D, FBN Holding Plc dated  
             26th February, 2016
xv.        A copy of Letter to the M.D, Standard Chartered Bank Plc dated  
             26th February, 2016
xvi.       A copy of Letter to the Former M.D of AMCON dated 1st March,  
                                        2016
xvii.       A copy of Letter to the current M.D of AMCON dated 1st March,  
             2016
xviii.       A copy of Letter to the Chairman, FIRS dated 2nd March,  
              2016
xix.       A copy of Letter to the former Chairman, Presidential Amnesty   
             Programme 1st March, 2016
xx.        A copy of Letter to the current Chairman, Presidential Amnesty
             Programme 1st March, 2016
xxi.       A copy of Letter to the President, ALGON dated 2nd March, 2016
xxii       A copy of Letter to the former Secretary General, ALGON dated 2nd 
             March,2016
 xxiii.     A copy of Letter to the current Secretary General, ALGON dated 2nd  
             March, 2016.
xxiv.      A copy of Letter to the DG/CEO MIMC dated 7th March,2016
xxv.       A copy of Letter to Chairman, ICPC dated 1st March,2016   
xxvi.      A copy of Letter to the IGP dated 1st March,2016
xxvii.     A copy of Letter to the Acting NNDC dated 1st March,2016
xxviii.    A copy of Letter to the M.D PPMC dated 2nd  March,2016
xxxiv.    A copy of Letter to the M.D, NPA dated 1st March,2016
xxxv.     A copy of Letter to the Acting Chairman, EFCC dated 29th 
             February,2016   
xxxvi.     A copy of Letter to the former AGF & Minister of Justice dated 14th  
             March 2016    
xxxvi.    A copy of Letter to the former Minister of Justice dated 14th  
             March 2016.   
xxxvii.   A copy of Letter to the M.D, Technip Offshore Nigeria Ltd dated 7th  
             March 2016.
    xxxviii.  A copy of Letter to the M.D Halliburton Energy Services Ltd dated 
             7th March 2016
xxxvix.  A copy of Letter to the M.D, Intels Nigeria Limited dated
             7th March,2016.
xxxx.     A copy of Letter to the M.D, TransOcean dated 7th March,2016
xxxxi.    A copy of Letter to the M.D, Marubeni Nigeria Ltd. dated 7th  
             March,2016
xxxxi.    A copy of Letter to the M.D, Nobles Drilling Nig. Ltd. dated 7th 
             March,2016
xxxxi.    A copy of Letter to the M.D, Japanese Gas Corporation Nig. Ltd.  
             dated 7th March,2016
xxxxii.   A copy of Letter to the M.D, Snamprogetti dated 7th March,2016
xxxxiii.  A copy of Letter to the M.D, SIEMENS dated 7th March,2016
xxxxiv.  A copy of Letter to the M.D, Julius Berger Nig. Ltd dated 7th  
             March,2016
xxxxv.   A copy of Letter to the Governor, CBN dated 1st March 2016
xxxxvi   A copy of Letter to the Accountant General of the Federation dated 
             7th March,2016
xxxxvii. A copy of Letter to the former Executive Secretary, TETFUND 
             dated 16th March,2016
xxxxviii. Copies of letters to other corporate entities and private individuals.
 
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