• Friday, July 12, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NASME boss faces suit over alleged misappropriation of $40,000 funds

Abdul Yarima

Abdulrasid Yarima, the National President of the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) is faced with court charges as council members of the association petition the Economic Financial Crimes Commission over misappropriation of $40,000 belonging to the association and alleged to have been converted by Yarima.

At the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the council members also charged the trustees of the association in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CV/2024.

The suit is led by Mike Alade, a member of the governing council and the national publicity secretary of the association housing all micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.

Read also: NASSI, NASME, AMEN want N220bn bail-out fund broken into smaller units

On behalf of Alade and the council members, in a petition signed and issued by Miss Faidat Balogun of Adedunmade Onibokun & Co to the EFCC on May 15, 2024, implored the anti-graft agency to probe the alleged Yarima’s misappropriation of fund.

A copy of the petition seen by our correspondent lists Alade’s concerns to include “diversion of funds which were initially earmarked for various developmental projects and support initiatives, and have been reportedly diverted for personal use by the president of the association.”

It added that there has been a blatant lack of transparency and accountability in the financial operations related to these funds, raising significant concerns among the members and relevant stakeholders of NASME as well as deliberate efforts to withhold or manipulate financial records to conceal the misappropriation of these funds.

Read also: Why 1.9 million MSMEs shut down in 3 years

The solicitor, on behalf of its client in the petition noted that, “We wish to state that it has come to our client’s attention, along with several concerned members of NASME, that there are serious allegations of financial misconduct involving the President of our esteemed organisation.

“Specifically, allegations that the President has misappropriated the sum of $40,000, said amount being the sum donated by sponsors during our ECOWAS SME Summit conducted on October 30, 2023, and was intended for the development and support of small and medium enterprises across the country as well as its West African delegates.”

“There have been deliberate efforts to withhold or manipulate financial records to conceal the misappropriation of these funds. It is our clients’ position that these allegations, if proven, represent a severe breach of trust and fiduciary duty by the President, Dr. Abdulrasid Yarima, and they undermine the objectives of NASME.

“The misappropriation of such a significant amount not only adversely impacts the financial standing of the organization but also hinders its ability to support and promote the growth of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria, which is crucial for the country’s economic development,” the petition read.

It further stated that misappropriation of such a significant amount not only adversely impacts the financial standing of the organisation but also hinders its ability to support and promote the growth of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria, which is crucial for the country’s economic development.

“Our client kindly implores the Commission to utilize its expertise and resources to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into these matters.

“We wish to emphasize that it is imperative that the responsible individuals are held accountable and that appropriate legal actions are taken to restore and ensure the integrity of NASME,” a copy of the suit added.

Meanwhile, efforts to speak to Yarima proved abortive as he could not pick up his calls nor reply to messages sent to his phone for reaction, as of the time of filing this report.