The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has, as part of the ongoing probe of $2.1billion arms deal, given ThisDay publisher Prince Nduka Obaigbena a two-week ultimatum to refund N670million allegedly collected for unexecuted contracts from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The newspaper proprietor was a guest of the EFCC for two days where he was questioned. He also made clarifications on some questionable payments he received from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). Obaigbena had been earlier denying allegations saying he benefited that he never benefited from slush funds from the office of the National security adviser (ONSA).
Responding to questions, Obaigbena said he only received money from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s admistration as compensation for the bombing of his office by Boko Haram and also collected some money on behalf of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) as compensation for bombing of the newspaper house by Boko Haram in 2012 and the seizure of copies of many newspapers by the military in 2014.
Obaigbena was alleged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to have received N670 million, a share of the $2.1 billion arms fund.
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The EFCC on investigations, uncovered another account for Obaigbena where he had collected money, using one of his companies’ name, “General Hydrocarbons.”
An EFCC official disclosed to the NATION.
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 N670million from ONSA. The reasons stated on the payment mandates are as follows: First tranche of N150million(environmental security project) and the remaining tranches(payment for energy consultancy).
Obaigbena said he was paid compensation of N550 million 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 N670million
Other EFCC sources say; “The EFCC has given Obaigbena a two weeks ultimatum to refund the amount he collected from ONSA”.
Obaigbena has signed an undertaking to refund the money in question. The anti-graft commission has also granted him an administrative bail.