Brig. Gen. Jones Oladehinde Arogbofa (rtd), a former Chief of Staff to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan is in serious trouble after he collected a N585m house gift from government officials.
A former Chief of Staff to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Brig. Gen. Jones Oladehinde Arogbofa (rtd), has landed in trouble over a N585 million house he was given to as gift.
According to The Nation, some public officers dipped their hands into the national purse and stole N27, 188,232,208.20 and then proceeded to purchase a N585million house which they presented to him as a gift. The stolen money was the benefits of deceased staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Arogbofa has been thrown into the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over his involvement in the fraud. He was subsequently quizzed following which he agreed to refund about N150million of the terminal benefits which was traced to the property purchased for him.
Also involved in the fraud is a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power who played a role in the diversion of the cash. He is now being grilled by the agency. About 10 of such officials are currently under surveillance.
The coordinators of the deal were said to have paid cash to or buy expensive gifts for the affected officials.
One of the source said:“The perpetrators of the fraud pretended they were doing Arogbofa a favour by virtue of his closeness to ex-President Jonathan. They told him that they had a gift for him which turned out to be the N585million house.
“Having trusted those who gave him the gift, the ex-Chief of Staff did not either ask for the source of funds for the property or how much it cost.
“It was at the EFCC that Arogbofa got to know that the property was bought from the looted the N27, 188,232,208.20 benefits of the deceased staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
“When he met a former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Power, who played some roles in the diversion of funds, and others, they started apologizing for roping him in.
“But it was too late for the former Chief of Staff and all those implicated in the dirty deals. The long arm of the law does not accommodate ignorance.”
Responding to a question, the source added:“We have interrogated the ex-Permanent Secretary but investigation is still ongoing on his roles in the diversion of the funds. This is why we will not disclose his identity to prevent a cover up by other accomplices.
“Preliminary findings pointed to him as one of the arrowheads of the fraudulent diversion of the N27.18billion.
“We have already watch-listed a top official of Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited that was used by the suspects under probe. This means, INTERPOL or any other international organisation can arrest him in any part of the world.”
The source said Arogbofa has agreed to refund N150million traced to the property purchased for him.“In fact, he has made partial payment to the EFCC and he promised to bring the balance next week.”