Nigerian graft agency quizzes aviation boss over mismanagement

By Oyise Oghene

After many letters and calls inviting him to its office, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) trailed the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Mr. George Uriesi, to his office to answer petitions against the agency on the alleged mismanagement of N44 billion revenue.

A team made up of four officials of EFCC and a police officer stormed the headquarters of the agency in Lagos but Mr. Uriesi was not in the office when the team arrived in a minibus, Toyota Hiace, white in colour with registration number, Abuja, BK 562 RVC .

The operatives, who arrived the venue at about 10:25am could not state the purpose of the visit as Mr. Uriesi was said to have left for Abuja for an official duty, but it may not be unconnected with a petition by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON)
alleging that the agency mismanaged N44 billion it earned in the last three years.

When contacted the Chairman of AON, Dr Steve Mahonwu who acknowledged the petition told Bizteller in a telephone interview that the organisation wrote the petition so that government would investigate the agency, alleging that officials of the agency were spending the money from FAAN as if it was their personal income.

“The thing should be probed. They are spending the money as if it is their own personal money because they think there is no tomorrow; they behave anyhow and that is why nothing works in Nigeria but in other parts of the African continent things work. Everybody wants to be a billionaire,” Mahonwu added.

A source from EFCC confirmed the visit and said that the team went to FAAN because of the petition some people brought to the Commission and after series of invitation the FAAN Managing Director did not come to the Commission’s office so the operatives decided to come to FAAN only to discover that Uriesi was not in the office.

A top official of FAAN, who spoke under condition of anonymity also confirmed the visit, saying that EFCC operatives were in the premises to make certain clarifications over the concession agreement between FAAN and one of its major concessionaire, Maevis.

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