The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained King Turner, a close associate of former President Goodluck Jonathan, over N240 million Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) contracts.
King A.J. Turner, Bayelsa first class monarch whose Maitama Home was raided in 2016 by operatives of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), carting away some documents, and unspecified amount of dollars, pound sterling, naira and rupee, has been arrested again in 2019 by the operatives The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Turner is a former chairman of the Board of UBEC when the alleged N20billion fraud was perpetrated.
Turner was arrested before the Easter holidays and detained for interrogation. The suspect was flown to Lagos last night from Abuja for another round of grilling in respect of a separate case.
It was learnt that he will be returned to Abuja later on Wednesday.
A former UBEC Executive Secretary, Mallam Suleiman Dikko and a principal officer of the House of Representatives, have been quizzed by the anti-graft agency in connection with alleged N20 billion fraud at the commission.
The N20billion was allegedly siphoned through the purchase of science and technical equipment and MDGs’ books for some 104 Unity Schools between September 2012 and 2014.
EFCC detectives are believed to have been told by the principals of the “beneficiary” schools that they never got the books and equipment listed against their schools.
The EFCC is working on clues that part of the funds may have been diverted to the prosecution of 2015 general elections.
A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “Turner is being detained because he needs to account for about N240 million. He has undergone interrogation in the last four days in connection with some contracts in UBEC.
“But this is the first stage of probe into UBEC activities. Turner will still spend more days in custody in view of other isolated allegations against him.”
The contract scandal in UBEC is in many folds, the source said, adding that many contracts were abandoned between 2012 and 2014.
The source said: “Some fake contracts were awarded in order to acquire slush funds for purposes known only to the former UBEC Secretary and the accomplice directors.
”There were also reckless awards of contracts under the guise of constituency projects between 2012 and 2014.
“For instance, many unexecuted constituency projects were awarded by UBEC to some companies owned by some members of the National Assembly.”
Responding to a question, the source, who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensibility” of the probe, added: “We just flew Turner to Lagos from Abuja because he was needed for questioning on a separate case being investigated by some detectives.”