EFCC vs Afromedia: Gobir Tells Own Side Of Story  | Independent Newspapers Limited
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EFCC vs Afromedia: Gobir Tells Own Side Of Story 

Posted: Nov 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


Alhaji Mohammed Gobir, a former chairman of the Business Development Committee of the board of Afromedia Plc, has said the business transaction for which the managing director of Afromedia Plc, Mr. Akin Olopade reported him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has nothing to do with the company, Afromedia.

In an interview in Abuja, he said it was purely a transaction involving both of them and that making it look like it was an Afromedia deal was standing truth on its head.

Gobir had been picked up from his Ikoyi, Lagos residence on Saturday, September 12 by operatives of EFCC and detained for four days.

He was told his crime revolved around ‘419’ and corporate fraud. The EFCC had acted on the instruction of Mr. Akin Olopade, managing director of Afromedia and accused Gobir of illegally collecting $3,500,000, N514,457,151.87, $2,102,740 and 51,000 Pounds Sterling at various times through a phony investment deal.

But Gobir has denied this vehemently, saying the figures are outrageously wrong and unfounded. He said he was not given any opportunity for his own side of the story to be stated before the incident was made public.

Gobir said as somebody who was in charge of business development at Afromedia his main duty was to secure high level business opportunities for the company. It was on this basis, he said, that in one of the several private meetings he held with Olopade, both of them agreed on the possibility of the company exploring and receiving capital investments following the melt down in the Nigerian stock market. In accessing the capital investment, money was required to process and access the fund of which part of the sum was expended by Mr. Olopade, who later turned around and requested for refunds of which several payments were made in repayment to him (Mr Olopade.)

Both men disagreed on the arrears to be paid having deducted earlier payments from total sum, with the two parties resolving to seek legal adjudication on the matter to determine what was due.

Gobir said if he was fraudulent or wanted to commit ‘419’ as Olopade and the EFCC have alleged, he would not have started making refund to Olopade after they decided to end the business deal. He said he had refunded to the Afromedia managing director, N100m, $52,000 and £21,000 all of which are documented. He said it was after he started making the refund to Olapade that the EFCC came to his house to arrest him.

Linking him with ‘419’ is what is beyond comprehension for him, he said. He added that he has never been indicted, has never been arraigned for any criminal case, has never been involved in fraud. He said if he had not been involved in criminal acts or ‘419’ previously there was no way he would do that now at the height of his professional and business life. He said he has been a credible businessman and contractor to Federal Ministries, Parastatals, Military and state Governments for about three decades.

It is this background of excellence in business and extensive contacts that made him to be recommended to join the board of Afromedia in 2009 at the time the company was raising funds to enhance its operations. He said from the period he joined the board of Afromedia in 2009 till the time of his resignation in 2013, he had made about N2 billion for the company.

Had he met Olapade prior to their paths crossing in the boardroom of Afromedia? Gobir said he never met Olopade before then but that once they met in the company, a deep friendship developed between them. He said it was on that basis that Olopade got mutual friends involved in the issue before the EFCC was called in.