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EFCC Grills Nwaoboshi Over N4b Contracts

For hours yesterday, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives quizzed Senator Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi over alleged unexecuted N4billion contracts and 20 accounts in six banks.

For hours yesterday,  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives quizzed Senator Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi over alleged unexecuted N4billion contracts and 20 accounts in six banks.

The senator, who represents Delta North Senatorial District, is also under investigation for allegedly obtaining an N1.2 billion loan from Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to buy electrical equipment and diverting the facility to personal use.

Three years after securing the loan for his firm, he has paid back just N150million.

Another issue against the Senator was the alleged use of a firm, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, to purchase a 12-story building in Apapa Lagos belonging to Delta State Government at the cost of N805, 000,000.00.

It was learned that a response from the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) showed that the Senator “did not declare all the companies and banks account he has interest in despite being operational prior to the time he made the declaration.”

The EFCC closed in on the Senator following a petition from Delta State.

A top source in EFCC said: “The Senator is in our custody to respond to allegations against him. So far, he has been with a team of detectives handling the multiple cases concerning him before this commission."

“It is too early to say whether the EFCC will detain him. He has many questions to answer.”

A brief by the EFCC on the Senator indicated that Nwaoboshi secured theN1.2billion loan, under the Local Industrial Growth Scheme, when he was sitting on the Board of Directors of NEXIM Bank.

Although Nwaoboshi excused himself on the day the NEXIM board approved the facility for his company, the anti-graft agency said the deal smacked of internal abuse.”

The document reads in part: “The EFCC is probing how the Senator allegedly diverted part of an N1.2 billion facility granted to him in 2014 by NEXIM Bank under the Local Industrial Growth Scheme.

“The loan, which was approved for the senator when he was a member of the bank’s board of directors, was meant for the purchase of equipment and electrical materials but the senator allegedly diverted part of the funds to acquire properties in Lagos.

“Criminal diversion is a serious offense and NEXIM may have to report him to the Central Bank of Nigeria. As a director of the bank, the circumstance of the award of the loan is one that raises fundamental conflict of interest and corporate governance issues.”

A petitioner also claimed that the Senator allegedly owned ‘Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd’  which was awarded a contract by the Direct Labour Agency, Delta State to supply construction equipment in the sum of N1,580,000,000.00.

But instead of supplying according to the specifications, the Senator was alleged to have supplied used equipment contrary to the Bill of Quantity which specified new ones.

Also, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited (previously known as Bilderberg Enterprises Nigeria Ltd) was alleged to have secured contracts from Nine (9) Local Government Areas in Delta worth over N2billion when the said company was yet to be registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act.

The same Senator’s firm was alleged to have secured another contract to supply N474, 936,000 types of machinery like Bulldozers, Pail loaders and Tipper Lorries by the Delta State Waste Management Board.

The EFCC, however, found out that the equipment was used items contrary to contract specifications.

About five firms had been traced to the Senator including  Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd, Suiming Electricals Limited, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, Jupes Global Nigeria, and District Construction Trumile Service.

On the question of accounts, the Senator’s personal and companies’ bank's accounts were linked to the Bank Verification Number (BVN) 22300559079 which has more than 20 bank accounts domiciled in six different banks.

But one Ogom Augustine Nwaoboshi is the sole signatory to the accounts.

One foreign account identified with the Senator  was also located by the EFCC’s investigation team

The account is designated as No 4004241 with HSBC Bank in Marble Arch London, United Kingdom.

Also, ex-Plateau State Governor  David Jang was yesterday quizzed for over seven and a half hours over alleged diversion of N2 billion Small and Medium Scale Enterprises funds facility advanced to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) during his tenure.

Another source added: “The SME cash was released to Plateau State a month before the expiration of Jang’s tenure in 2015. We asked him about the whereabouts of the funds. He is expected to provide the list of beneficiaries."

“But our detectives have retrieved all documents relating to the facility. We are probing clues on how the money was diverted."

“We are likely to take on Jang again this week because he owes the people of the state a duty to account for the N2billion.”