The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has given reasons for investigating a former Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Captain Warredi Eniusoh.
A statement on Monday by the Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren says Eniusoh’s case was unrelated to oil pipeline security or his role as Head of Operations in Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo’s Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited.
TheFact Daily reports that Enisuoh, who was arrested by officials of the anti-graft agency on Sunday, was first arrested and arraigned for alleged financial crimes in 2015 along with other NIMASA officials including a former Director-General of the agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
According to the EFCC, Enisuoh was under investigation in an alleged case of money laundering involving the criminal dissipation of funds in an account held by him but which was the subject of a longstanding investigation by the Commission.
In the course of that investigation, over $420,000, suspected proceeds of illicit activities, was traced to an account held by him. The Commission had obtained a Court Order to freeze the account and preserve the funds, but Enisuoh in 2018 secured an Order of the Court of Appeal to lift the freeze Order. However, the Court of Appeal did not find in favour of Captain Warredi Enisouh that the funds in issue were not proceeds of unlawful activities.
The Commission received intelligence that Enisuoh dissipated the funds reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of his unlawful activities within three days in May, 2018. He was on the Commission’s watch-list until January 19, 2023, when he was taken into custody. A remand notice was duly filed to keep him, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
The Commission said that Eniusoh was cooperating with the investigation, and has already returned $100,000 to the account.
“The Commission is a critical stakeholder in the fight against oil theft and has demonstrated this by successfully prosecuting perpetrators of such heinous crime. It will therefore not take any step to frustrate the determination of the government to fight oil theft and sundry offences”, the statemrny said.
Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL), where Eniusoh currently works, was alerted of his fresh arrest on Sunday.
It will be recalled that the private security firm headed by ex-militant leader Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, recently won a pipeline surveillance contract worth N48 billion from the Federal Government.
In a statement weekend on Enisuoh’s arrest, the company posited that while it has been in the news for the amazing progress being made in returning Nigeria to its pride of place as the leading oil producer in Africa, efforts are being made to strangulate its operations.
Tantita said, Eniusoh was, on 19 January, 2023, invited by the EFCC and detained, and has been in the Commission’s custody since, adding that all efforts to ensure his release has proved abortive, as the Commission has insisted that unless he provides a list of names of his intelligence sources, he would not be released.
The company claimed that “the EFCC invitation came right in the middle of an ongoing operation to unravel one of the biggest oil-stealing cartels in this country. Capt. Warredi Enisuoh flew straight from Port Harcourt (where he was coordinating the operations) to Lagos to heed the EFCC’s invitation and walked right into a trap.
“While Tantita is determined to carry on the fight against the oil thieves regardless, it is our position that the EFCC’s investigation, if genuine, can be carried out with minimal interference to the war on oil thieves and if not, it is clearly being used by powerful forces to scuttle the war on oil thieves. Let Nigerians be aware of what is being done in their name”, the statement said.