Senate to probe alleged diversion $322 million Paris Club funds

Paris Club funds
PIC.23. SENATE CHAMBER DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE 8TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY (9/6/15). 3023/9/6/2015/CH/BJO/NAN

The Senate is set to investigate alleged diversion of over $322 million Paris club refunds meant for the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, it was learnt on Sunday.
The Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja

Nwaobosh told reporters that a formal motion would be presented on the floor of the Senate for the investigation of the diverted funds.

The aim of the probe, he said, was to unearth the faces behind the alleged diversion under the guise of consultancy fees.

Nwaoboshi said that measures would also be mounted to recover the diverted funds.

The Delta north senator also flatly denied recent media reports that 22 various bank accounts belonging to him were frozen by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP).

He challenged those behind the reports to publish the amount recovered.

Nwaoboshi said: “Let me assure Nigerians that as soon as the case is settled, I shall bring a motion to investigate the $322 million of the 774 local governments in Nigeria allegedly taken by consultants from the Paris Club refund. It must be investigated by Nigerians. Nothing will stop it.

“If the Senate fails to investigate it, I will take it up and make it a one-man show to ensure that faces behind the diversion of the funds are unmasked. Nigerians should expect that from me.”

On his legal tussle with SPIP, he said: “I don’t have 22 bank accounts. That is not to say that there is any law that forbids me to own up that number of bank accounts or more than that in Nigeria.

“Most of the alleged bank accounts belong to companies of which they thought I have interest in, but I am not a signatory, a director, or a shareholder in any of the companies.

“It is therefore wicked, malicious, frivolous, scandalous, and a height of irresponsibility.
“It, therefore portrays the level of the understanding of the law by the leadership of the SPIP. I challenge the SPIP to publish the names of the shareholders, directors, and signatories to the accounts for the public to judge.

“I wonder why the SPIP failed to carry out due diligence before rushing to the court to tarnish my image by securing a forfeiture order on firms that I have nothing to do with. I went to court on June 10th this year and obtained an injunction ordering SPIP to maintain the status quo ante on my case as of May 31, 2019.

“I wonder why a party to the suit should go ahead to secure this forfeiture order when the injunction had not be lifted.

Ten of the bank accounts belong to companies while most of the other 12 accounts were opened for me by the various banks representatives operating in the National Assembly when I became a senator, are already dormant.

“My attention has been drawn to a purported forfeiture order although I am yet to be served with the proceedings of the court, I only read it in the print media.

“I don’t have 22 bank accounts. That is not to say that there is any law that forbids me to own up that number of bank accounts or more than that in Nigeria.

“Most of the alleged bank accounts belong to companies of which they thought I have interest in but I am not a signatory, a director, or a shareholder in any of the companies.

“It is therefore wicked, malicious, frivolous, scandalous, and a height of irresponsibility.

It, therefore portray the level of the understanding of the law by the leadership of the SPIB.

“I challenge the SPIB to publish the names of the shareholders, directors, and signatories to the accounts for the public to judge. “

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