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Paris Club loot: Governor agrees to refund $2.5m

The state governor accused of building a hotel with $3 million of the controversial London-Paris Club loan refund has sneaked into Aso Rock Presidential Villa in search of soft-landing.

The Nation gathered yesterday that the embattled governor had in the last 48 hours been roaming the corridors of the Presidential Villa in desperate search for help.

He was said to have offered to refund the balance of $2.5 million quietly to the EFCC without being further investigated, given that one of the proxies used to launder the funds had already surrendered $500,000 to the anti-graft agency.

It was learnt that the governor, who disguised to enter the Villa, avoided the prying eyes of journalists at the seat of power.

A government source said: “The governor was looking visibly disturbed, but it was obvious he was seeking help. The manner he managed his shuttle to the Villa suggested that he had something up his sleeves.

“I think he is ready to refund $2.5 million since one of his proxies has paid back about $500,000. The governor had audience with some government officials. We learnt he made a commitment to pay back quietly to avoid any political backlash. He also does not want to be exposed or his proxies subjected to trial.

“The truth is that this government will not give waiver to anybody or group in its anti-corruption campaign.”

Already, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered about N1.420 billion from some firms and a consultant who benefited from the N19 billion illegally deducted by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) from the loan refund.

Out of the sum, about N1.2 billion was frozen in the account of a consultant alone.

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said the EFCC was already on the trail of all those who benefitted from the N19 billion cash.
The Nation, May 13, 2017

 

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