Saturday, 3 June 2017



Paris Club Refund EFCC to apply for forfeiture of $3m, N500m linked to two Governors

A governor allegedly laundered the money through a member of the House of Representatives and his brother.

EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is reportedly set to apply for interim forfeiture of $3 million and N500 million linked to two governors in the ongoing probe of the London-Paris Club refunds
The Nation reports that two suspects have been listed for trial in connection with the $3 million.
A governor allegedly laundered the money through a member of the House of Representatives and his brother.
It was gathered that one of the suspects facing trial is the owner of an investment company in which account the $3 million was paid into.
The report said that the House of Representatives member has gone underground while the serving governor is seeking soft-landing.
As for the second governor, he allegedly laundered N500 million from the refunds through a consultancy firm.
He was alleged to have coordinated and bankrolled a protest march against the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, in Abuja last Thursday.
The EFCC is said to be ready to lay the facts of its probe of the London-Paris Club refunds before the court.
So far, the Presidency has released N1.266.44 trillion to the 36 states in the past one year, including the N713.70 billion special intervention funds to states.
Following protests by states against over-deductions for external debt servicing between 1995 and 2002, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of N522.74 billion (first tranche) to states as refunds pending the reconciliation of records.
Each state is entitled to a cap of N14.5 billion, being 25 per cent of the amounts claimed.
According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the payment of the claims would enable states to offset outstanding salaries and pension which has been "causing considerable hardship."
On May 24, 2016, the governors at a meeting with Buhari sought for the loan refunds to states and local governments.
But the alleged mismanagement of about N19 billion and $86 million meant for payment of consultants and legal advisers by some governors is under investigation.
Of the huge funds, The EFCC has traced $3 million and N500 million to two of the governors
The Nation quoted a top EFCC source as saying, "contrary to the noise being made, we are ready to approach the court for interim forfeiture of $3 million and N500 million linked to two governors through their fronts.
"By the time we file all necessary papers in court, Nigerians will know that we have conducted due diligence in tracking some of the London-Paris Club refunds.
"This is not a case of media trial. Many suspects have appeared before our team and made confessional statements.
"So far, two suspects will face trial on the alleged laundering of $3 million from the London-Paris Club refund for a governor
"On the $3 million, we have been trying to track down a member of the House of Representatives who we suspected had gone underground because he and his younger brother were implicated on how the cash was laundered through an investment company (names provided but withheld).
"As for the N500 million, the other governor allegedly laundered it from the London-Paris Club refunds through a consultancy firm.
"The same governor has been desperate to avoid being probed and to shield his fronts from being prosecuted.
"It was out of desperation that the governor allegedly bankrolled a protest march against the Acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, by engaging an amorphous group called Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption (GLOCCOLAC).
"Our detectives are already probing how the governor funded the protest. The cash was openly shared in front of a posh hotel in Abuja with evidence obtained by our detectives.
"The governor was also sighted at a building near the hotel from where he monitored the protest march.
"Despite the fact that he disguised, intelligence picked him up.
"The building where he stayed is not far from EFCC’s office, and it is located near a new complex where electrical fittings are sold. All these places are within the vicinity of EFCC."
Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause on any serving or former public officer or any Nigerian under probe.


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