Falana seeks probe of Soludo, Sanusi, others over ‘diversion’ of state funds - mymp3plus

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Falana seeks probe of Soludo, Sanusi, others over ‘diversion’ of state funds

A senior Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the
Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, to promptly
investigate a range of dealings involving alleged diversion of
public funds over the years by government establishments,
including the central bank, under former governors,
Chukwuma Soludo and Lamido Sanusi.
Femi Falana 

Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the finance
minister, Kemi Adeosun, had not taken steps to recover
billions of dollars “either criminally diverted or illegally
withheld” from government account.
He said the EFCC needed to act now given “the increasing
pressures being mounted on the Federal Government by the
parasitic faction of the ruling class to auction the remaining
assets of the nation”.
The comment followed calls by businessman, Aliko Dangote,
and the senate president, Bukola Saraki, for the government
to sell national asset to stem recession.
Mr. Falana listed the following cases for investigation:
1. By a letter dated January 27, 2016 the National
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)
disclosed to us that from five cycles of independent
audit reports covering 1999-2012 it had confirmed that
the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, some oil
companies and certain agencies of the Federal
Government had withheld $20.2 billion from the
Federation Account. Despite repeated requests of
some civil society organizations the Federal
Government has refused to recover the said sum of
$20.2 billion. 
2.
3. Sometime in 2006, former Central Bank Governor,
Profesor Chukwuma Soludo removed $7 billion from the nation’s external reserves and doled it out to 14
Nigerian banks. Two years later, the Central Bank
Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (the current
Emir of Kano) also gave a bailout of N600 billion to
the same banks. The request of some civil society
organisations for the recovery of the huge loan of $7
billion and N600 billion from the commercial banks
has been ignored by the management of the Central
Bank.
4.
5. On September 6, 2016, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced that arrangements had been concluded to recover the sum of $9.6 billion in over-deducted tax benefits from joint
venture partners on major capital projects and oil
swap contracts. Although the NNPC has recovered the
said sum of $9.6 billion, it has failed to remit same to
the Federation Account without any legal justification.
6.
7. In 2009, Mobil Oil Producing Nigeria Unlimited applied
to the Federal Government for the renewal of three oil
blocks. Upon granting the application, the NNPC asked Mobil to pay the sum of $2.5 billion for the renewal of the licenses. While Mobil made a part payment of $600 million it undertook to invest the outstanding sum of $1.9 billion in the energy sector.
But as Mobil did not invest the said sum in the energy
sector the Civil Society Network Against Corruption
has requested the EFCC to investigate the fraudulent
transaction.
8.
9. From 1998-2014, the Federal Government
successfully recovered over $4 billion from the
Abacha loot. However, based on the refusal of the
office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to
account for the recovered loot the Socio Economic
Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) applied to
the Federal High Court for an order of mandamus.
Even though the Court granted the order the Federal
Government has failed to account for the recovered
loot. In the circumstances, we have submitted a
petition to the EFCC to investigate the alleged criminal
diversion of the recovered loot.
10.
11. In the Appropriation Act, 2011, the sum of N245 billion
was earmarked for fuel subsidy. In violation of the Act,
the Central Bank of Nigeria headed by Mallam Sanusi
Lamido Sanusi paid the sum of N2.5 trillion to a cabal
of fuel importers. Following our petition the EFCC
conducted an investigation into the fraud but the
exercise was compromised due to pressure from the
former Jonathan administration. Even though the
EFCC has charged some of the suspects to court the
investigation ought to be reopened with a view to
getting to the root of the monumental fraud.
Mr. Falana offered to “provide all relevant documents to
facilitate your investigation of the serious economic and
financial crimes disclosed in this petition”.
“In view of the foregoing we are compelled to request you to
use your good offices to recover the aforesaid sums of
money and proceed to prosecute the corporate bodies and
individuals involved in the economic sabotage which has
contributed to the nation’s economic recession,” he said.

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