The Kogi state deputy governor, Edward Onoja has again been caught in a web of controversies regarding his acquisition of multi-billion naira worth of properties in the Federal Capital Territory.
Documents seen by SaharaReporters show that Onoja had acquired several properties whose value run into many billions of naira since he was appointed by Governor Yahaya Bello as his Chief of Staff and later assumed the office of the Deputy Governor of Kogi State in October 2019.
Two of the properties are currently being used by Onoja’ nephew identified as Friday Adejoh at Kado area of Abuja, a source said.
The buildings worth over N200 million is located at House 23, D66, BUA Estate.
The source added that about 18 cars fraudulently acquired by the deputy governor were parked in the compound.
“He has two houses in Kado, BUA estate to be precise and one of the buildings is used by Exposure one, ETcetera Design, a business front run by his nephew, Friday Adejoh for money laundering.
“He also owns the property that houses the inside story magazine; it is about three minutes walk from the Kogi State Government House main gate.
“It’s a fact that he was sacked from GT Bank for loaning out money that he couldn’t account for because the debtors were not willing to pay back at the agreed time.
“One of the debtors is the current Commissioner for Commerce in the state, Hon. Gabriel Olofu. He was at the time the chairman of Olomaboro Local Government Area,” the source said.
SaharaReporters had reported how Onoja was sacked by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc for his involvement in a fraudulent act.
A source told the newspaper that the deputy governor was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2011 but was let off the hook after bribing his way through the process.
He was said to have issued a fraudulent Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) dated 15th October, 2008 to another commercial bank in Lokoja, Kogi state capital.
“He was sacked by GT Bank after the fraudulent act was discovered. He was then the manager of the bank in Lokoja. He can’t deny that, all of us working with him then knew him to be a fraudulent and selfish person. If he is sure of himself, tell him to present his letter of resignation from the bank if truly he has one,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
Known for violence, Onoja was publicly seen leading thugs to snatch ballot boxes during the Lokoja/Kogi Federal Constituency bye-election in 2018.
He was arrested by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) over an alleged plot to attack a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jibrin Usman (rtd).
His arrest and detention followed a tip-off regarding an impending attack on Usman by mercenaries identified as ex-Niger Delta militants.
Preliminary confessional statements obtained from the apprehended gang members by the DSS allegedly fingered Onoja as mastermind of the planned attack.
SaharaReporters gathered that he was detained for some days before he was released after the intervention of his boss, Yahaya Bello.