Two American banks have reportedly placed an embargo on accounts belonging to Nigeria missions in New York and Washington D.C.
According to sources familiar with on-going investigations initiated by two leading American banks, Bank of America and Wells Fago, the Nigerian missions, the country’s Embassy In Washington D.C and the permanent mission to the United Nations had their accounts frozen following the failure of Nigerian diplomatic officials to satisfactorily explain suspicious use of a total of $3.6 million sums, wired through separate accounts with the two banks.
According to sources familiar with the “critical investigations” that the officials of the two banks suspected that accounts belonging to the two missions might have been used as conduits for laundering and other unscrupulous activities.
After being flagged by relevant financial monitoring agencies in the united State, auditors from the two banks decided to scrutinise the missions’ books.
Employees of the two diplomatic outlets have been having issues paying bills and meeting other financial obligation because they have not been paid their salaries and other entitlement after activities relating to the operation of the missions’ accounts were poorly explained and as such were barred from continued operations.
A source said that some Nigerian officials devel-oped the habit of simply dumping funds with affected accounts without justifiable end use, thus turning the missions to conduit for siphoning cash from Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Auditor-General and his subordi-nate have since arrived the united state to assist in reconciling the reck-less and improperly kept books, it was learnt. But how the efforts of the au-ditors would clear the air on suspicions of stealing, fraud and money launder-ing remains to be seen. A source claimed that such suspected funds usually originate from state governors and other Nigerian functionaries.
Reacting, however, the Deputy Director Communications, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ogbole Amedu Ode, said, “As it is, I am just hearing this for the first time. I do not know anything about it. As a matter of fact I am out of town now but will be coming into Abuja tomorrow (today). If I call anybody there now I am sure they will not answer me, they will say this is weekend. So we will have to wait till Monday before we can confirm the story.”