Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have discovered at least N3 billion in the various bank accounts of the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, an engineer.
SaharaReporters' investigations also revealed that Mr. Dunoma owns a house and shopping mall in Dubai as well as a hotel in Singapore. The assets are being managed by one of his two children.
A source close to the agency exclusively told SaharaReporters that the EFCC discovered the funds in Mr. Dunoma's accounts four months ago when it carried out a security screening on him.
Curiously though, Mr. Dunoma was given a clean bill of health by the EFCC despite a slew of evidence of corrupt practices found against him.
Mr. Dunoma, sources said, owes the clean bill of health to the sum of N750m he gave as bribes to EFCC officials, top guns in the Ministry of Transport, Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, and some officials in the Presidency.
However, some top FAAN management staff were said to have been displeased that Mr. Dunoma was cleared by the EFCC and proceeded to leak fresh documents to the EFCC through a third party. But despite new evidence, EFCC officials are yet to act.
“How can someone who has been a civil servant all his life come about N3 billion in his accounts, properties in Dubai and Singapore and yet, was cleared by EFCC? That’s the part of the corruption we are talking about,” a source said.
Mr. Dunoma joined the FAAN in 1980 and was posted to the Civil Engineering Department of the defunct Nigeria Airports Authority, which later metamorphosed into the FAAN.
He was appointed Director of Engineering Services in February 2009 and appointed Managing Director of FAAN in March 2014.
Mr. Dunoma, who underwent a surgery abroad about four months ago, has not stepped into the headquarters of the agency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, since he returned to the country.
The FAAN is now run by Mr. Dunoma's Chief of Staff, Mr. Mohammed Kabir, and one Mrs. Awe, a staff in the Managing Director's office. This is in spite of the appointment of Mr. Olufemi Ogunode as acting Managing Director.
“FAAN today has a management crisis as there is a cold war among the directors, who felt they have not been properly treated by the management. For instance, Ogunode was appointed an acting MD in the absence of Dunoma, but he’s not active.
“FAAN is being run by Kabir and one Mrs. Awe in his office. These two people are the ones implementing the posting of officers in FAAN to out stations and without Dunoma’s signature,” disclosed a source.
The source, however, attributed the improper management structure in the agency to massive bribery of top officials in the Ministry of Transport.
The government, in June, was set to demote at least 40 General Managers and Deputy General Managers in the FAAN alone. This category is made up of those brought into the system by politicians and placed on Grade Level 16 and above.
Some of them graduated between 2008 and 2010, but were placed on Grade Level 15 and above with the approval of the former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah.
The government also planned to reduce the directorates in FAAN from eleven to six, but Mr. Sirika and other top government officials have made the implementation impossible.
“The government was determined to ensure proper placement of staff in FAAN at the initial stage because of the grumbling among some who felt that younger people with less experience and qualifications were placed above them, but all of a sudden, the government went mute on this. Some of the directors too are even over 60 years old and still, they don’t want to go.
“For instance, our Director of Administration, Mr. Nkechi Uko, is over 60 years old and he’s still in office. He has refused to go and the management even knows that his file indicated that he’s over 60 years old. But despite retiring, he and some others are busy lobbying the minister,” said a source.