The Department of State Services (DSS) has allegedly arrested a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed.
Abdulhammed’s arrest was confirmed to Daily Trust by sources within and outside the NIRSAL.
NIRSAL is a $500m non-bank financial institution, which was created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It was created to manage agribusiness-related credit risks in Nigeria.
The sources revealed that the ex-NIRSAL boss was arrested after five months of a manhunt by a joint team of the DSS, the Nigeria Police Force and the Special Investigator.
A source privy to Abdulhameed’s arrest told the platform that he was apprehended last week on the premises of a federal government’s revenue-generating agency in Abuja where he had gone to lobby for a reappointment.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “After turning down several invitations, the joint team eventually got hold of him on the premises of a popular government’s parastatal in Abuja where he was said to have gone to lobby either to return as NIRSAL MD or as the head of the Nigeria Agriculture Development Fund.”
The ex-NIRSAL boss, who is said to be in the custody of the DSS, is being quizzed on multiple allegations of corruption during his tenure.
A source at the NIRSAL revealed that the investigators put in place by President Bola Tinubu were also seeking answers based on findings contained in an investigation earlier conducted by a team from the CBN following a petition against the NIRSAL on alleged fraud, money laundering and criminal conspiracy.
It was gathered that following the investigation, the Banking Supervision Department of the CBN wrote to the ex-NIRSAL boss seeking an explanation for “observed breaches of internal policies and procedures of the organisation, relevant regulations and laws, especially the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
According to the platform, the query on the breaches was conveyed in a letter referenced: BSD/SPG/CON/NIR/13/083 titled: ‘On a spot check on the operation of NIRSAL conducted between August 27, 2020 and September 11, 2020.’
In the document exclusively obtained by Daily Trust, the CBN had, in its interim report, drawn attention to questionable spending and procurement violations, and requested the ousted NIRSAL boss to forward his reply within three days.