A Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) serving in the Directorate of Technical Cooperation In Africa (DTCA), Suleiman Momoh, has been caught in a N10 million bribery scandal which was offered to secure his appointment.
SaharaReporters learnt that the N10 million was paid to a staff member in the Presidency in Aso Rock in January 2020 to ensure that Momoh was made a director at the MFA because the former director at the DTCA was retiring.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada
SaharaReporters gathered that Momoh, to raise that money had sought loans from friends and associates, including one Mr Gift Agadagu, a businessman from whom he borrowed N2.5 million.
It was learnt that Momoh asked Agadagu in December 2019 to borrow him the money, with a written agreement that he would pay back the sum in January 2020, but the bubble burst when Momoh, after becoming a director, refused to repay the money.
Agadagu thereafter raised a petition to the DCTA of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 2020 to complain about Momoh and get his money back but the petition was not acted upon and subsequently swept under the carpet.
SaharaReporters obtained the petition in which Momoh’s wife confirmed that her husband paid N10 million to an Aso Rock staff member to get the directorship position at the DCTA which he is currently occupying.
Sources at the corruption-ridden DCTA told SaharaReporters that the petition came to the attention of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, but it was killed because “the minister’s boys also got shares of job racketeering money from the DCTA.”
“The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dada, supervises the DCTA and he is aware of the anomalies on the ground. Momoh’s case is just an example of the various job and promotion racketeering going on at the foreign affairs’ agency. The former Director-General, Adamu Mahmud, is also aware of the whole saga. The minister and his boys eat from the proceeds. They are too corrupt to investigate the petition,” a source said.
The petition raised against Momoh is titled, “Complaint of Criminal Abuse of Office and Obtaining Money by False Pretence Against Suleiman Momoh.”
The letter written through the Koyen-Hi Kebo Chambers, partly reads, “Mr Momoh has used the instrumentality of his office and official position as a civil servant to obtain money by false pretences from our client (Gift Agadagu). Our client met Mr Momoh through one of his associates, Alhaji Abdulsalam Dahiru based in Abuja.
“On December 30, 2019, Momoh approached him with a loan request under the pretext that his department was trying to mop up the balance of their budgetary allocation before the new year –2020 for which he was looking for some money to offer to some staff members of the Ministry of Finance to facilitate the transaction.
“For this purpose, Momoh requested a loan of N2.5 million only, with a promise to return the money on January 7, 2020. In return, Momoh entered into an agreement to pay our client the sum of N1.8 million only. Consequently, Momoh was asked to pay N3.8 million on January 7. The handwritten agreement between Momoh and our client dated December 30, 2019, is attached.
“To this end, Momoh issued a cheque from Access Bank, 20198691 dated January 7, 2021. However to our client’s disappointment, on presentation of the cheque at the bank, the cheque was not honoured as the banker told our client that there was insufficient fund in the account to which he drew the attention of Momoh. Up till now, Momoh has refused and ignored to pay our client. Momoh is avoiding our client and has remained incommunicado.”
The lawyer added that Momoh brought the official documents from his office in order to solicit for the loan and hoodwink “our client that they were mopping up the budgetary balance of his department.”
“When Mr Momoh was unable to pay our client, Momoh’s wife intervened and called Alhaji Dahiru, requesting him to intervene and prevail on our client, telling him that her husband had asked for the loan for the purpose of securing the position of a Director in the ministry as the incumbent was retiring.
“Mr Momoh’s wife further told Alhaji Abdulsalam that her husband paid the sum of N10 million to a staff member in the Aso Rock in the Presidential Villa to secure the job but he did not mention the name of the staff member, which means he used the money to bribe for official position in the department.
“It is our client’s request that you kindly cause this petition to be investigated to get to the root of Mr Momoh’s criminal conduct in relation to his office as a civil servant and abuse of office. Our client and Alhaji Abdulsalam are willing to come and testify regarding this petition,” the lawyer concluded.
SaharaReporters learnt that the DCTA has since refused to act on the petition nland also failed to invite the petitioner or the accused for questioning.
SaharaReporters, New York