Saturday, 21 October 2017

EFCC probes alleged diversion of N1.2b NEXIM loan

Posted On Friday, 22 September 2017 02:17 Written by
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Peter Nwaoboshi Peter Nwaoboshi

A Senator is in trouble with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for obtaining a N1.2billion loan from the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to buy electrical equipment but he allegedly  ended up diverting the facility to personal use.

Three years after securing the loan for his firm, he has only paid back about N150million.

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) has been summoned by the EFCC for interrogation through the Clerk to the National Assembly.

Besides the loan, Nwaoboshi is under investigation for collecting N1.580bilion contract to supply some construction equipment and trucks to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency in 2010.

The senator allegedly supplied mostly refurbished trucks as new vehicles. This has been confrmed by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), The Nation learnt.

The senator is among the 18 of the nation’s 109 senators who are either under investigation or trial for over N367.5billion alleged fraud by the EFCC.

Nwaoboshi may face trial for alleged abuse of office in securing the loan, alleged diversion of the facility and contract fraud.

Nwaoboshi is said to have secured the N1.2billion loan, under the Local Industrial Growth Scheme when he was sitting on the Board of Directors of NEXIM Bank.

Although Nwaoboshi excused himself on the day the NEXIM board approved the facility for his company, the anti-graft agency said “the deal signifies of internal abuse”.

An EFCC document said: “The loan, which was approved for the senator when he was a member of the bank’s board of directors, was meant for the purchase of equipment and electrical materials but the senator allegedly diverted part of the funds to acquire properties in Lagos.

“Criminal diversion is a serious offence and NEXIM may have to report him to the Central Bank of Nigeria. As a director of the bank, the circumstance of the award of the loan is one that raises fundamental conflict of interest and corporate governance issues.”

The senator is said to have been defaulting in repayment.

“He has not honoured the invitation of this commission but since he has no immunity, our detectives are on his trail,” an EFCC source said.

The Senator is also under probe for allegedly using one of his companies, ‘Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd’,  to secure a contract from the Direct Labour Agency, Delta State to supply construction equipment at N1,580,000,000.00.

But, instead of supplying the equipment according to the specifications, the company allegedly supplied used equipment, contrary to the Bill of Quantity which specified new ones.

Also  Bilderberg Enterprises Limited (previously known as Bilderberg Enterprises Nigeria Ltd) was alleged to have  secured  contracts from Nine local government areas in Delta State worth over N2billion when the said company was yet to be registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act.

The senator is also under the searchlight of the EFCC for allegedly using a firm, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, to buy a 12-storey building in Apapa, Lagos belonging to Delta State Government at N805, 000,000.00.

It was learnt that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had no record that the senator “declared all the companies and bank accounts he has interest, despite being operational prior to the time he made the declaration.”

A document from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) confirmed that the senator supplied refurbished trucks to the Delta State Government as new vehicles.

The EFCC’s brief said: “Nwaoboshi, who has failed to respond to the commission’s invitation, is battling to stop the Commission from moving to secure the final forfeiture of his property.

“He has filed two actions before a court in Lagos and a Federal High Court in Asaba, asking that the interim forfeiture order of Justice Abdulaziz Anka be vacated. The Federal High Court Asaba refused the ex-parte application, further hearing is slated for October 3, 4 and 5, 2017.

“A Federal High Court in Lagos in April ordered the temporary forfeiture of a 12-storey building belonging to the senator over an alleged contract scam of N1.5bn.

The said building, which the court ordered Nwaoboshi to forfeit to the Federal Government is at 27, Marine Road, Apapa.

“Justice Anka made the forfeiture order after entertaining an ex parte application brought before him by the EFCC.

“Joined with Nwaoboshi in the application were his two companies – Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, and Bilderberg Enterprises Limited.

“The EFCC told the judge that Nwaoboshi, through his company, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited, got a N1.580bn contract to supply some construction equipment to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency sometime in 2010.

“The senator is also alleged to have forged assets declaration documents before the Code of Conduct Bureau, where he concealed 46 different accounts to which he is a signatory.”

 
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