Economic and Financial Crime Commission in a fresh report fingered Francis Ayade, brother to Cross River Governor Ben Ayade in a number of suspicious transactions which involved his company Hally Brown International Limited. Hally Brown was alleged to have received several allocations from Federation Accounts without due account. It is not clear if the Governor, Ben Ayade is aware of the transactions or to what extent he may be aware of his brother’s alleged shady deals.
According to EFCC sources, Francis Ayade was arrested on Tuesday, August 23 in connection with the scam. Francis, who is currently the Managing Director of Leophina Nigeria Limited and Hally Brown International Limited, was accused of allegedly taking part in shady deals involving diversion of public funds into his companies’ accounts.
The EFCC sources said investigations by the commission’s operatives showed that Hally Brown International Limited was awarded a road construction contract to the tune of N2.4billion in 2011 and Francis allegedly took a loan of N350,000,000 (three hundred and fifty million naira) from First Bank Plc, on behalf of Cross Rivers Rural Access and Mobility Project, to finance the contract.
It was however gathered that the secured loan was never used to finance the road construction contract, it was diverted to finance another unnamed project.
Also, Francis was again fingered in alleged shady deals that involved one Obudu Micro Finance Bank, a source who prefers anonymity revealed that “Specifically, four different allocations from the Federation Accounts were alleged to have been diverted into Hally Brown International Limited account owned by him.”