The newspaper reviews for Monday, November 6, leads with the investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of three governors for alleged diversion of the London-Paris Club refund.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating three governors for alleged diversion of the London-Paris Club refund.
The Nation reports that the cronies of the governors are also under investigation by the agency.
A source told the newspaper that all suspects will be brought to book by the EFCC.
The source said: “As part of the ongoing probe, we have traced diversion of funds to three more governors and their cronies. This is apart from two governors who have been fingered in such deals.
“Detectives have also uncovered another account opened by the Nigeria Governors Forum(NGF) where suspicious transactions related to the London-Paris Club refund have been found.
‘We have rated this new discovery as a slush account. This is aside the two accounts on which we placed Post No Debit(PNB).”
According to the source: “More consultants have confessed that they were paid for jobs not done.
“So, we have cases of diversion of public funds into private accounts under the guise of consultancy fees. This explains why salaries have not been paid in some states”, the source added.
“We will release the details to the public very soon. All the suspects will certainly face trial. Those who have immunity will face the consequences, no matter how long it takes.
“Already, one of the governors has forfeited N500million and another crony of the second governor has refunded $500,000 out of $3million linked to his account.
“We have also applied for the forfeiture of over N1.823billion by some consultants hired by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).”
Meanwhile, the presidency has directed the chairman of the presidential special panel on the recovery of public property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, to hands off activities of the panel.
Vanguard reports that the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, in a statement on Sunday, November 5, said the actions of Obono-Obla ran contrary to the enabling act that established the panel.
The AGF in a letter dated November 1, 2017, with file number HAGF/SH/2017/VOL/1/60 directed Obono-Obla to henceforth desist from carrying out any operation in his capacity as head of the panel.
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“Obla is also instructed to henceforth seek clearance from the AGF before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters, while he is directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the panel to the Minister for onward transmission to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo,’’ the AGF said.
In another report, the Punch has learnt that deposit money banks in the country are lobbying the office of the attorney general of the federation to drop the plan by the federal government to seize monies in the bank accounts of customers without the Bank Verification Number.
This follows the ruling by the Federal High Court in Abuja which ordered the forfeiture of all monies in bank accounts owned by corporate organisations, government agencies and individuals without the BVN.
A bank executive told the newspaper that banks are trying to get the government to rescind the order.
The executive said: “The banks are lobbying the AGF; we hope to get them to understand why they should not carry out such an order. This money belongs to private people. Why will the government seize what belongs to them?
“Most of the customers who have yet to comply have one reason or the other for not doing so. Some are abroad; some don’t have the time to link the BVN to all their bank accounts; some have issues relating to estate and the need to get a letter of administration.”
In other news, This Day reports that cumulative transactions on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) foreign exchange window have risen to $18.36 billion following increased portfolio flows into the country.
The newspaper reports that the chief executive of financial derivatives company limited, Bismarck Rewane revealed this in a presentation at the monthly Lagos Business School’s breakfast session for November.
The surge in activities at the window has been attributed to offshore investor interest in treasury bills and the primary market auctions (PMA) by the CBN, with the resulting inflows leading to a convergence between the parallel market exchange rate and the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX) rate, also known as the I&E Forex window.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that the inability of the federal government to find oil in the north after $3 billion had already been sunk in the project has divided stakeholders.
Some in favour of the exploration are encouraged by the success of oil finds in neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad.
But geologists who are mindful of the soil composition of hydrocarbon reserves, think it’s an effort in futility.
The executive director, civil society legislative advocacy centre (CISLAC), and head of transparency international Nigeria, Auwal Musa, described the move as unnecessary and not in the best interest of the country.
He said: “We should not bring regional politics to everything that can benefit the entire country. The project has not been seen as a national effort to diversify revenue. If it is seen as something meant for national interest, I don’t think there is the need for the Sokoto State governor or anyone to lobby. There are signals that it is going to favour one particular region.”
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