N19bn Paris Club scam: EFCC writes Buhari, indicts Saraki, aides for laundering over N3.5bn


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The EFCC has furnished Pres. Buhari with details of how the President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, and his aides allegedly laundered up to N3.5 billion from the Paris Club loan refund.

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The report, compiled by detectives in the anti-graft agency, followed months of investigation, and was submitted to the president on March 10, 2017.

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In the report, the EFCC narrated how Mr. Saraki, using his deputy chief of staff and other aides, laundered N3.5bn that he allegedly received from the Paris Club loan refund to state governors. 

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The manner the Paris Club loan refund was spent by public officials has been a subject of nationwide controversy for several weeks, with EFCC hinting at some point that an investigation was underway. 

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In its report to the president, the EFCC detailed how Mr. Saraki, in 2016, introduced Gbenga Makanjuola, a former lawmaker who now serves as his deputy chief of staff, to Kathleen Erhimu, an Access Bank staff. 

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The EFCC identified Ms. Erhimu as Mr. Saraki’s relationship manager at Access Bank. Mr. Makanjuola would later work with Robert Mbonu, a former M.D of Heritage Bank, whose firm, Melrose General Services Limited, was said to have served as consultant to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

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The EFCC informed Pres. Buhari that Mr. Mbonu received N3.5bn in mid-December 2016, part of which was later transferred to accounts and persons linked to the senate president.

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“A prima facie case of conspiracy to retain the proceeds of unlawful activities and money laundering, can be established against the aforementioned suspects,” the EFCC told Mr. Buhari in the report. “Additionally, investigation into their personal accounts is ongoing.”

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