EFCC Report Indicts Saraki, Aides of N19 Billion Paris Club Refund Scam
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has submitted a report to President Muhammadu Buhari linking Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and some of his aides to the diversion of about N19bn from Paris Club refund.
The report also indicted Robert Mbonu a former Managing Director of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, the defunct commercial bank owned by the Saraki family, the Punch is reporting.
In January, the EFCC discovered that the loan refunds were illegally diverted via the account of the Nigeria Governors Forum by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Upon receiving the money from the Paris club refund, the NGF, in an alleged connivance with Saraki, began remitting huge sums to private consultants who then laundered about N19bn.
The report stated that apart from the NGF, others under investigation include the Relationship Manager to the Senate President in Access Bank, Kathleen Erhimu.
Some others under probe and identified as Saraki’s aides include Obiora Amobi, Gbenga Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Idowu.
The report alleges that sometime in December, Saraki introduced the ex-bank MD, Mbonu, to Erhimu in a meeting attended by the aides mentioned above.
It added that sequel to the meeting, the sum of N3.5bn was lodged into the account of Mbonu’s company, Melrose General Services, domiciled in Access Bank from the Nigeria Governors Forum on December 14.
Two of Saraki’s aides, Obiora Amobi and Gbenga Makanjuola, were reportedly introduced to Access Bank as representatives of Melrose General Services Limited by Mbonu to enable them make cash withdrawals from the account.
The report reads in part,
“Based On The Foregoing Findings, It Is Clear That Robert Mbonu, The Managing Director Of Melrose General Services Company And His Company Were Used To Help Divert Proceeds Of Unlawful Activities Under The Guise Of Payment For Contractual Obligations With The Nigeria Governors Forum.
“Suffice To Apprise That All Payments Received By Melrose General Services Company From The NGF Have Hitherto Been Diverted Directly Via Cash Withdrawals And Indirectly Through Transfers By Gbenga Peter Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu And Oladapo Joseph Idowu, Who Are Principal Aides To The Senate President.
“Furthermore, Other Payments From Melrose General Services Company Have Also Been Linked To Companies That Dr. Bukola Saraki Has Interest In And Carries Out Transactions With.
“This Includes The Sum Of $183,000, Which Was Transferred To Bhaska Devji Jewellers, Dubai, A Company Dr. Bukola Saraki Had Repeatedly Made Payments To.
“Also, The Sum Of N200m Was Transferred To Wasp Networks Limited That Subsequently Transferred The Sum Of N170m To Xtract Energy Services Limited, A Company That Routinely Made Deposits Into Dr. Saraki’s Access Bank US Dollar Domiciliary Account.”
The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, however said the Senate President, Saraki would react to the allegation when he sees the report.