FG Sues Pioneer APC Scribe, Brother Over Refusal to Declare Assets

January 19, 2018 11:28 am

The Federal Government has charged a former interim National Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Alhaji Tijani Musa Tumsah and his brother for allegedly refusing to declare their assets without reasonable excuses, DailyTrust reports.

Tijani, who is the Vice Chairman, Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI) and a member of the APC’s board of trustees, was charged alongside his brother, Ibrahim Musa Tumsah, the Director of Finance and Account in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

The Federal Government through the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property had in December, 2017 secured a temporary forfeiture order to take over 86 luxury vehicles, together with four houses and a quarry plant in Abuja, said to belong to Ibrahim.

In the two-count charge filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja by Chief Superintendent Celsus Ukpong on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Tumsah brothers were said to have not only refused but neglected to declare their assets, when invited by the panel in its investigation on the forfeited properties.

Their action is said to be contrary to and punishable under S.3 (3)(1)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provision) Act 2004.

In the proof of evidence attached to the charge cited by our reporter, the government said one Mohammed Abdullahi, a police officer and investigator working with the panel would testify among other things that he sent notices to the Tumsah brothers on November 16 and 30, 2017 for them to declare their assets.

Also attached to the charge were statements said to be made by Tijani and Ibrahim to the panel. Ibrahim, who was alleged to own the forfeited properties allegedly wrote: “Apart from my salary, I have income from farming, commodity trading and goodwill from friends and relatives. I do not have any company.

“The property located at No 27 Cairo crescent is owned by a company, Rain Nig Ltd, who’s Chairman and Managing Director is Tijani Musa Tumsah. The property at Sirasso crescent is where we leave with my brother based on his goodwill to me is owned by him. The property located at 34 Euphrates Street, Wuse 2, Abuja does not belong to me. The property located at No 22 I.I. Igbani street is my brother’s office.”

Also, a memo attached to the charge, signed by one Mathias Okoi-Uyouyo, the Director of Operations of the panel and addressed to the chairman of the panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, said an online media raised allegations that Ibrahim who earns less than N500,000 a month has properties splashed all over Abuja, Kaduna and Yobe using his name, brother, children and wives to acquire them, prompting the investigation.

The panel said Ibrahim acquired all the assets between 2016 and 2017 and used his brother Tijani as front to own two companies: Rain Integrated Services Insurance Brokers Limited and Rain Integrated Bureau de change Limited with which the assets were acquired.

Reacting to the charges in a phone call, Tijani said as vice chairman of an adhoc committee, he was not required by law to declare his assets.

The case has not been assigned to a judge.

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