EFCC indicts Saraki and his assistance in N19bn Paris Club scam

EFCC indicts Saraki and his assistance in N19bn Paris Club scam
Senato Bukola Saraki
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) allegedly
submitted a report to President Muhammadu Buhari, linking the Senate President
Bukola Saraki and some of his assistants to the diversion of about N19bn from
the N522bn Paris Club refund.

According to the Punch, the report also accused one Robert
Mbonu of Melrose General Services Limited, an ex-Managing Director of the
commercial bank owned by the Saraki’s family, Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria.
The report also stated that the Nigeria Governors Forum and Kathleen
Erhimu, who is the relationship manager in Access Bank is also under
Also under investigation are Saraki’s aides Gbenga
Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu, Obiora Amobi and Oladapo Idowu.
The report claims that on an occasion in December, Saraki
introduced the former bank MD, Mbonu, to Erhimu where his abovementioned aides
were also present.
After the gathering, N3.5bn was lodged in a domiciled account
belonging to Melrose General Services Company (account number 0005892453) in
Access Bank from the Nigeria Governors Forum on December 14, 2016.
According to the report, two of Saraki’s aides, Obiora Amobi
and Gbenga Makanjuola, were familiarized to Access Bank as agents of Melrose
General Services Limited by Mbonu to enable them to make cash withdrawals from
the account.
The withdrawals made from this account by Amobi and
Makanjuola ranges from N5m to N10m.
Part of the report reads: “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

“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.”
It then concluded that an evidence of conspiracy to retain
the ensues of unlawful activities and money laundering, contrary to sections
15(3) and 18(9) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004, could be
established against the above-mentioned suspects.
Yusuph Olaniyonu, who is Special adviser to Saraki on media
and publicity, said he would not act in response except he saw the report.

“Send the report to me
and I will be able to read it and contact the necessary people. If I don’t see
the report, I cannot react to it in abstract. Send me the report if you want
our reaction,”
Yusuph said.
The EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren confirmed that probes were
ongoing into the Paris Club scam but said he did not know the details of the investigation.
He said: “I can only
confirm that there are investigations but I don’t have details.”
Recall that the EFCC had initially refuted the claim of
indicting Saraki, saying the issue was still under investigation.
EFCC said in a statement released on Monday, February 13, 2017,
that not only was the story against Saraki and the governors fallacious, also allegations
that officials of the agency were trying to cover up the indictments were
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