Yesterday, the EFCC gave “ThisDay” publisher Prince Nduka Obaigbena a 2-week ultimatum to refund N670m allegedly collected for unexecuted contracts. In a letter, Obaigbena had told the EFCC that he
never benefitted from slush funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
He said the administration of GEJ paid the said sums to “ThisDay” and the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) as compensation for the bombing of the newspaper house by Boko Haram and the seizure of copies of many newspapers by the military.
Obaigbena was quizzed for two days on the activities of General Hydrocarbons and inflow into the company’s account from ONSA. An EFCC source was quoted as saying: “What we are investigating is General Hydrocarbons. Records from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) indicated that Nduka Obaigbena is a director of the company.
ONSA reported that General Hydrocarbons was one of the companies that received payments purportedly for contracts without contract documents or approval. Between December 8, 2014 and May 23, 2015, Obaigbena received N670m from ONSA.
The reasons stated on the payment mandates are as follows: First tranche of N150m (environmental security project) and the remaining tranches (payment for energy consultancy)
Obaigbena said he was paid compensation of N550m for the bombing of “ThisDay” office in Abuja but there is no nexus between this payment and the money he collected for contracts. None of the sums shows that what he got from ONSA was compensation.
The complaint before us is that the company was given money without contractual agreement. By all records, Obaigbena was paid for unexecuted contracts. It is government’s funds and he has to refund the N670m.” Another source said: “The EFCC has given Obaigbena a maximum of 2 weeks to refund the amount he collected from ONSA. He has signed an undertaking to refund the money in question. He has been granted an administrative bail.”….. 2 weeks is darn to long tho…..