Paris Club Refund: Governors’ Forum dares EFCC

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have dared the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe their activities over alleged diversion of the refund made to the 36 states from the excess charges of Paris Club.

The governors were responding to reports last week that they may have used fictitious consultants to divert some of the money from Paris Club, which had attracted the attention of the EFCC.

Consequently, the Presidency had ordered a full scale investigation into the disbursement of the funds.

But fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting of the NGF meeting on Wednesday night, which ended on wee hours of yesterday, chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said the governors were ready for the EFCC probe.

He also expressed governors’ support for the present administration’s war against corruption, noting, however, that they would wait for the outcome of the EFCC’s investigation.

Yari said, “We discussed the issue of Paris Club and London Club. We observed that EFCC said it is doing investigations. Yeah, we support the federal government for fighting corruption. We are waiting for the EFCC to come up with what they say is the investigation and come up with the result”.

The EFCC had denied that it indicted the 36 state governors for allegedly pocketing large slices of the Paris loan refund.

Reacting to the report, EFCC in a statement on its twitter handle, @officialEFCC, said though investigation was ongoing on the reimbursement paid to state governments for excess Paris club deduction, it was yet to indict any governor or Senate President so far.

The commission said the investigation was still at its preliminary stage, even as it refuted insinuations of attempting to cover up for some officials of the commission.

The commission added that it would brief the public of the results of its investigation as at when due.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to a report captioned, Nigerian State Governors, Senate President Saraki Pocketed Billions of Naira from Paris Loan Refund.

“The report among others claimed that the Commission has indicted all the governors of the 36 states of the Federation and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki in the ongoing investigation of the reimbursement paid to state governments by the Federal Government for excessive deduction charged to them on account of the Paris Club and other international loans.

“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally that no state governor or Senate President has been indicted so far by the investigation which is still at a preliminary stage. Also, insinuations about cover up by some officials of the Commission are untrue as there is no incentive to do so”.