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Scrap metal collectors steal N2.9bn ($4m) from N55.9bn ($76m) stashed cash stored inside Abuja apartment by NDIC manager Aisha Odariko and Ex-perm sec Kyari



Some scrap metal collectors have reportedly carted away ($4m) from N55.8bn ($76m) stashed cashed stored inside an Abuja apartment by the Aisha Sadiq Odariko, a manager in charge of an enterprise risk unit at the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), and Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, a retired permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance.

According to Peoples Gazette, this was discovered when Aisha and Kyari were subjected to an investigation by federal authorities for their role in stockpiling about $76 million cash of unexplained origin.

At the heart of the investigation is whether Messrs Odariko and Kyari Dikwa conspired to run an expansive fraud ring as federal officials, as well as the whereabouts of the remaining $72 million that Ms Odariko allegedly told a federal agent was left after the burglars stole $4 million from the $76 million stash.

“She told detectives that there was $76 million in the building, out of which the boys stole $4 million,” an official familiar with the investigation said. “While about $2 million was recovered from the burglars, we still need to understand how she and her allies were able to quickly move the remaining $72 million and where they moved it to.”

Kyari Dikwa, from Borno, once acted as accountant-general of the federation under President Muhammadu Buhari and retired from the civil service just before some of the hidden cash was looted. The background of his relationship with Mrs Odariko was unclear, although officials said they were both romantically involved, citing knowledge provided by their driver.

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Kyari Dikwa’s public profile touted his role in fostering enduring government reforms like the introduction of Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), Treasury Single Account (TSA), Asset Tracing Team (ATT), Whistleblowing Policy, Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) and Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI), among others.

He also said he was in charge of revenue and director of funds for a while at the Federal Ministry of Finance. In the private sector, he mentioned Transcorp Hilton and Transition Company of Nigeria as places he had worked, although it was unclear whether he worked there before, during or after leaving service in January 2019.

Officials said the tawdry episode began on or around November 8, 2020, when four men broke into a building in Apo, Abuja. The men entered through the rear of the house after separating the barbed wire over the fence perimetre at about 4:00 a.m. in the B14 block of the neighbourhood.

It was learnt that the suspects planned the operation after being told by Odariko’s driver that her boss and her male friend (Kyari Dikwa) were hoarding COVID-19 palliatives in the building.

The driver, identified as Samuel Enebi, told his friends, who toiled as collectors of discarded metal and derivatives around the nation’s capital, that there were bags of food items, including noodles and aromatic rice, in the house which his boss was keeping from the government.

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Enebi moored his suspicion to reported discoveries of warehouses holding undistributed COVID-19 supplies across the country at the time.

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