Cross River State governor’s brother arrested over alleged N2.4Bn fraud


A brother to the Cross River state governor, has been arrested by the EFCC over his alleged involvement in a N2.4bn contract scam.

Mr. Francis Ayade, who is the managing director of Leophina Nigeria Limited and Hally Brown International Limited, was arrested on Tuesday.

He has been linked to alleged shady deals concerning diversion of public funds into his company accounts.

A source reportedly informed Premium Times that:

Specifically, four different allocations from the Federation Accounts were alleged to have been diverted into Hally Brown International Limited’s account owned by him,”

EFCC sources say, Hally Brown International Limited is said to have been awarded a road construction contract to the tune of N2.4billion in 2011.

Mr. Ayade reportedly 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 enable him finance the said contract.

According to investigations however, the loan was transferred into the Mobility Project, and not used for the contract as supposed.

In addition to the contract scam, Francis Ayade has also been implicated in another alleged suspicious transaction involving Obudu Micro Finance Bank.

It is as yet unclear if Governor Ayade is linked to this alleged contract scam, but we learnt that EFCC investigations are still ongoing.

However, his spokesperson, Christian Ita, was unavailable to comment on this story as at Wednesday morning.

Although Mr Ayade has been awarded Administrative bail, he remains in EFCC custody until he fulfills the bail conditions.