The report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the diversion of about N19bn from the N522bn Paris Club refund has linked Senator Bukola Saraki, his family’s defunct bank, Societe Generale Bank MD, Robert Mbonu, and some of his aides to the scam.
Recall the Federal Government in December 2016 approved the sum of N522.74bn to be paid to the 36 states of the federation as part of the reimbursement of the over-deduction on the Paris Club loan from 1995 to 2002.
However, in the report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari the EFCC mentioned that upon receiving the funds on behalf of the states, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, allegedly connived with Saraki, to remit huge sum of money to private consultants, who then laundered about N19bn.
It said Mr. Mbonu’s company, Melrose General Services Limited, which is one of the consultants, fronted for the senate president, and the sum of N3.5bn was paid into Melrose General Services Company account number 0005892453, domiciled in Access Bank by the Nigeria Governors Forum on December 14.
It named some of Saraki’s aides who made cash withdrawal from the account after Mbonu introduced them to his account officer as Obiora Amobi, Gbenga Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Idowu.
“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 President.
“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,” the report reads in part.