Business Hilights
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Unnamed State Governor returns N500m of Paris Debt money

It was not very easy to classify the gesture as ‘Self Whistle Blowing’ or escape from imminent danger as a Nigerian serving state governor weekend returned N500 million found in his account to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The fund seems to be a fraction of recently returned excess deductions from states by the Paris Club and World Bank which the EFCC is currently trailing around the governors.

The anti graft agency is probing the use and whereabouts of the N388.304billion Paris loan refund.

EFCC is also probing how N19billion was illegally deducted from the London-Paris Club loan refund and how the money was shared.

The diverted money was said to be a consultant fee, but part of it found its way into the yet unnamed governor’s account.

It was learnt that about seven governors allegedly played key roles in diverting part of the N388.304 billion refund into two accounts opened by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

“Detectives have grilled four more suspects and retrieved bank details on how funds were wired into some accounts.

“EFCC operatives traced about N500 million, which was meant for a consultant, to the account of a governor. The cash has since been paid back after the discovery.

“The operatives are trying to determine whether or not the governor is also one of the consultants engaged for advisory service by the NGF.

Business Hilights recalls that the Federal Government released N388.304billion of the N522.74 billion refund to 35 states as over-deductions on the London-Paris Club loans.

The big earners are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Katsina, Kaduna, Lagos, Imo, Jigawa, Borno, Niger, Bauchi and Benue. Kano State and the FCT were not part of the returned fund.

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