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Governor Ayade’s Brother Arrested Over N2.4bn Fraud

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 24, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Francis Ayade, a brother to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State over alleged N2.4billion contract scam.

Francis, the Managing Director of Leophina Nigeria Limited and Hally Brown International Limited was arrested on Tuesday in connection with alleged shady deals involving diversion of public funds into his companies' accounts.

THEWILL gathered that four different allocations from the Federation Accounts were allegedly diverted into Hally Brown International Limited's account owned by him.

EFCC operatives told THEWILL that the suspect allegedly took a loan of N350,000,000 (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira only) from First Bank Plc, on behalf of Cross Rivers Rural Access and Mobility Project to finance a N2.4billion road construction contract awarded to Hally Brown International Limited in 2011.

However, investigations by the anti-graft agency revealed that the loan was unused for the contract but transferred into the Mobility Project.

Also, Francis, who was also implicated in suspicious transactions involving Obudu Micro Finance Bank, has been offered administrative bail but is still in the custody of the EFCC until he fulfils the bail conditions.

Story by David Oputah