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By Nuelson Penuel/News/Saturday, May 15, 2021

President Buhari Son In-Law Wanted in Fraud Probe

The son-in-law of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is wanted as part of an investigation into an alleged $65 million property fraud, the country's anti-corruption agency said Friday. The Independent Corruption Prosecution Commission (ICPC) said in a statement Friday that Gimba Yau Kumo and two others are suspected of misappropriating funds earmarked for a national property development project. Kumo, who in 2016 married Buhari's daughter Fatima, was the managing director of a Nigerian mortgage bank. He is also under investigation for Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola, whose positions have not been disclosed. Buhari, a former general, was first elected in 2015 on a promise to clean up politics in Nigeria and make fighting corruption one of his main goals. But critics have in the past accused his government and ruling elites of using the country's anti-corruption agencies as political weapons to target their enemies. "The persons whose photographs appear above, Tarry Ruffus, Mr Gimba Yau Kumo and Mr Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared wanted... in connection with issues relating to the diversion of public funds for real estate to the tune of $65 million," the commission wrote. It added that anyone with information on their whereabouts should contact the police. President Buhari's spokesman, Garba Shehu, confirmed the ongoing investigation into the president's son-in-law. "This is an old case, it will take some time. He is the former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank," Shehu told AFP. Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer, ranks 149th out of 180 countries in Transparency International's index of global corruption. When Buhari came to power he spoke of "staggering" theft by the previous government but the looting of public funds has been going on for decades. Billions of dollars are alleged to have been stolen by former dictator Sani Abacha during his iron rule between 1993 and 1998.
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