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EFCC detains, AMCON receiver manager over N120bn fraud at Arik Air

EFCC nabs five for possessing illegally-mined minerals in Kwara

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained Kamilu Omokide, the receiver manager appointed by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria for Arik Nigeria Limited, over alleged misappropriation and diversion of about N120bn.

Omokide was detained for financial impropriety, asset stripping and other underhand dealings amounting N120bn.

It was gathered that the Receiver Manager was detained for questioning Friday after he responded to the EFCC’s summons.

Findings also show that the EFCC investigations into Arik Air in Receivership was partly due to a petition written by Femi Falana, who is Arik Nigeria Limited’s lawyer.

Also detained along with Omokide was Samuel Caulcrick in connection with the alleged illegal sale and tear down of $41million CRJ 1000 aircraft which was operated by Arik Air.

According to reports yhe EFCC has grilled certain players connected to aircraft teardown and have invited them to its headquarters in Abuja. No fewer than eight aircraft have been cannibalised leaving them with no dash boards, avionics and other parts that made the aircraft airworthy.

Falana in his petition dated April 27 alleged massive financial fraud and sale of assets reaching over N120bilion.

The petition in part read, “We are Solicitors to Arik Nigeria Limited (hereinafter referred to as “our client”), on whose behalf and specific instructions we write you. Our client operates an airline in the aviation industry by offering air transportation services for passengers and cargo in Nigeria and has been in business since 2006.

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“In compliance with an ex parte Order of the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) appointed a receiver manager to manage our client’s assets due to its financial obligation to some banks.

“Pursuant to the said ex parte order, the said receiver manager has been overseeing the affairs of our client’s assets pursuant from 2017 to date. In the course of running the airline business the receiver has engaged in financial mismanagement, diversion of monies, sales of assets and misappropriation of funds belonging to Arik Airline.

“The details of the financial management, diversion of monies, sale of assets and misappropriation of fund are set out below: 1. Fraudulent contracts awarded: a. Aircraft lease Agreement No. OLY-ARIK/ACMI/A321/202001-21 between Olympus and Arik Air-In-Receivership, executed on November 1,2019 with the following details:

“Listed Lease Contracted Aircraft: A321 MSN1015 Reg# SX-ACP; Listed Contracted aircraft delivery date: 01 Feb 2020 and for consideration of the sum of N91,187,500.00 (Ninety-One Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Seven Thousand Five Hundred Naira) withdrawn from our client’s (USD) account domiciled at Keystone Bank with account No: 1006835708 on February 11, 2020. There has been no specific performance to the subject matter of the said contract up till date, no service has been carried out, nor was there aircraft or a refund of the consideration furnished for the said contract.

“A. Clobek Nigeria Limited with Company’s Registration No. 899094, a real estate firm with its registered office at Abuja purportedly entered into ACMI damp Lease Agreement with Arik Air-In-Receivership in a profit-sharing ratio of Arik 55% and 45% respectively for one Unit aircraft B737-700 MSN 38127 (E1-GVW). However, Clobek Nigeria Limited, is neither registered nor licensed as an aviation services company by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), thereby unauthorized and ineligible to provide aviation services.

“The said company received questionable payments of N579,902,982.58 for flight operations services from Arik Air-In-Receivership. The Receiver Manager abandoned the several younger Arik Air new-generation aircraft for self-gratifying lease deals and a dubious profit-sharing arrangement. A. The receiver manager executed Aircraft Damp [A.C.M.I.J Lease Agreement with Eznis Airways LCC, a Mongolian registered airline lease of one unit Boeing 737-700 Reg No E1 – Engines (the same aircraft purportedly financed by Clobek Nigeria Limited in a profit-sharing arrangement. Some records of payments for Arik Air in Receivership to Eznis are questionable, e.g., multiple security deposits, maintenance, hotel accommodation etc for being duplicated to Clobek and conflicting with aircraft usage.

“Galactic Aviation, a Nigerian company purportedly leased 2 units of A320 aircraft A320 MSN 2388 with Registration No. LY-NZL and LY-CCK. The aircraft Reg No LY-NZL operated between April 2022 to Jan 2023 and the other aircraft Reg No: LY-CCK operated between Dec 2022 to March 2023 payments of about N4.3B were released to Galactic Aviation without records of reconciliation of accounts between flights operations and revenue management to determine equitable distribution.

“Israeli Aerospace received from Arik Air in Receivership payments of over N1.IB especially the sum of N309,5000,000 for the repair of aircraft Engine R1505522 since 2018, whereas the purported engine has not been returned to base or released back into operation. This is in addition to another dubious payment for aircraft maintenance in the sum of N71,79,250.00.”