- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has discovered a fake consultant used by the Nigeria Governors Forum
- The governors reportedly took out $3 million from the Paris Club loan refund for fictitious projects through the alleged fake consultant
- The anti-graft agency has applied for the forfeiture of the fund
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly applied for the forfeiture of over N1.823 billion by some consultants hired by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
This is after the anti-graft agency reportedly discovered a fake $3 million contract from the Paris Club loan refund by the governors
The Nation reports that a suspect, Ifeanyi Okafor, revealed to the EFCC how he engaged in a fictitious consultancy for the governors who, under the NGF, paid him $3 million from the loan refund.
According to him, his company, Mountain Crest, was hired by the governors for an unexecuted consultancy job, it was learnt.
The report said Ifeanyi and four other consultants have been invited for interrogation by the anti-graft commission.
The report said armed with this evidence, the EFCC has approached the court for the forfeiture of the following: N1. 230billion by Melrose General Services Company; N500million by a governor; and $1million and N100million paid to Gosh Project by Mountain Crest Limited.
“We have gone to court on some payments made to some consultants by the NGF.
“We filed two applications before the court, but we could not secure final forfeiture because the court was on vacation and the matters were adjourned till October.
“Our detectives found that N3.5billion was paid to Melrose General Services Company but only N1.2billion was discovered when the investigation of the diversion of the London-Paris Club refund started.
“We have initiated a court process for the final forfeiture of the N1.2billion to the Federal Government. We need to perfect the forfeiture with a court order,” a source within the EFCC said adding that N220 million has been recovered into the Federation Account.
“The Managing director of Xtract Energy Services, a company that deals in Forex Trading, confirmed that Wasp Networks Limited transferred N170, 000,000 on the 16th January 2017 to Xtract Energy Services Limited’s FCMB account for the purchase of $350,000 which he later transferred into Wasp Networks Stanbic IBTC US dollar domiciliary account.
“Wasp Networks has returned to the EFCC the N200million paid to the company by Melrose General Services.
“Melrose General Services Company paid N20million to Thebe Wellness Services. The managing director of Thebe Wellness Services confirmed that N20million from Melrose General Services Company was a loan which was to be used as an investment in Thebe Wellness Services,” the source added.
He continued: “About $3million was paid into the corporate account of Mountain Crest Limited by the NGF.
“From the cash, $1million was remitted into the account of a company, Gosh Project. We have succeeded in recovering $500,000 which we transferred to the government’s account.
“But we have applied to the court for the final forfeiture of the money.
“Out of the balance of $500,000, we got another N100 million from Gosh Project. The recovered cash was part of what was invested in Treasury Bills. Another share of the money is being used for a hotel project in Lekki, Lagos state.
“The EFCC is going to recover the remaining $2 million and it will charge the company and all those involved to court with corrupt payment, aiding and abetting diversion of public funds.
“There are clues that the $3 million consultancy job was given to Mountain Crest Limited to launder funds for another governor.”
Concerning the diverted N500 million linked to a governor through a mortgage bank, the source allegedly said: “The EFCC filed an ex-parte motion on 19th June 2017 for the Interim Forfeiture of the cash and our request was granted by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“All we are waiting for is an order for the final forfeiture of the money by the governor who we cannot prosecute now. Certainly, the governor will face trial after the completion of his second term in office.
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“We are investigating the utilisation of the London-Paris Club refunds by states. Also, in addition to the five percent paid by states to the centralised NGF account, some state governments further engaged consultants, with some paying 2.5 percent and 15 percent of the collectible fees to these consultants.
“We will look into the books of all the states but we are looking at the payment to consultants in five states at present. They are Bauchi, Delta, Abia , Cross River and Nasarawa.
“Our team will review the list of consultants, how much was paid to them, who actually benefited and we will determine whether or not there was evidence of corrupt payments.”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that embattled Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state and chairman of the NGF cried out saying Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the EFCC has been hijacked.
The governor, who was recently accused of diverting the sum of $3 million from the Paris Club refund into the construction of a 100-room hotel in Lagos, reportedly said those who lost out in the last governorship election in Ondo state were behind his travails.
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