After many successful runs, a man described as an oil mogul has been detained by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC, over sundry financial offences. Shehu Badamasi, who is reported to have duped a Lagos-based businessman of N2.3bn was hauled into EFCC custody on Saturday and has been questioned on many other ‘deals’ which deprived victims of their hard-earned money.
He is being grilled by operatives from the Special Bank Fraud Unit of the EFCC, who immediately confronted him with evidence of issuing a dud cheque of N100 million to another client in the course of doing business together, thereby breaching financial laws.
“Yes, he has been with us and we are talking to him on all the issues in the petition written by a Lagos-based businessman, who claimed he was defrauded of N2.3 billion and another who lost N100 million to the same suspect,” a source in EFCC said last night. A competent source said that the agency was aware of the several claims that the suspect is well rooted within the security agencies and the corridors of power, saying that the commission would do its job in accordance with the laws.
Those who reported Badamasi to the EFCC, said they did that because of the no-nonsense posture of the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, who has vowed to deal ruthlessly with corrupt individuals and organizations. Another source described Badamasi as someone not new to the security agencies who has always found his way around.
It will be recalled that the Office of the National Security Adviser, in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence, had raised a high-powered panel to investigate suspected illegal bunkering activities of Shehu Badamasi’s vessel, known as M.T Al- Khaf, early this year.
However, the suspect became elusive and the work of the NSA panel died naturally and nothing was ever heard about it again despite claims that the vessel was deeply involved in oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region. The vessel had earlier been arrested by the Nigerian Navy in 2010 for illegal bunkering but released under questionable circumstances in 2012.
It was learnt that the EFCC had secured a warrant to keep the suspect for 17 days to enable the operatives question him extensively on all the issues raised against him by aggrieved persons. It was not clear if he would be granted administrative bail or charged to court based on available evidence at the disposal of his interrogators.