Firm returns governor’s N500 million loot to EFCC

Firm returns governor’s N500 million loot to EFCC

- A mortgage firm has returned N500 million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

- The money is said to be part of the Paris Club refund kept with it by a governor

- The EFCC is probing the London-Paris Club refund following allegations that some governors are misapplying the cash

A report by The Nation indicates that a mortgage firm has returned N500 million to the EFCC kept with it by a serving governor.

According to the report, the money is said to be part of the Paris Club refund kept with it by the governor.

Officials of the mortgage firm are said to have made a statement confirming that the governor owns the N500 million.

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A source quoted in the report, said: “When EFCC detectives traced the governor’s loot of N500million from the London-Paris Club refund to the account of the mortgage company, the firm wasted no time in disclosing the source.

“The mortgage firm has surrendered the cash to us; we have it in our custody. And on Monday (yesterday), we filed an application before the court for an interim forfeiture of the N500million in order to legalise its custody.

“The purported owner of the cash has a two-week deadline to come forward to claim it or have it forfeited permanently to the federal government.”

Responding to a question, the source said all those connected with the cash, including some consultancy firms had been named in court.

The identities of the governor, the companies involved and his proxies, the source added, would be unveiled when the matter comes up in court.

The governor, he said, has long standing mortgage collaboration with the firm where the N500million was wired.

NAIJ.com checks reveals that the presidency has so far released about N1.3trillion to the 36 states in the past one year including N713.70billion special intervention funds to states.

Following protest by states over deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the release of N516.38billion (first tranche) to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as refunds pending reconciliation of records.

Each state was entitled to a cap of N14.5 billion being 25% of the amounts claimed.

But media reports in the past few months suggests that many of the governors have diverted the monies into personal use and not for the benefit of their states.

The alleged deduction of about N19billion and $86million, meant for payment of consultants and legal advisers, by some governors is also under investigation by the EFCC.

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Meanwhile, labour unions have called on the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to probe the states which defaulted in the first tranche of the N516bn Paris Club loan refund.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said in a statement that probing the states which defaulted in the payment would help check the utilisation of the second tranche of the refund.

Watch the NAIJ.com TV video report of the anti-corruption walk of the EFCC that held in Abuja recently.

Source: Naija.ng

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