Fred Itua, Abuja
Baring any last minute change of focus, the Senate will soon commence investigation into alleged diversion of $322 million Paris Club refund meant for 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
Making the disclosures in Abuja, yesterday, when he addressed newsmen, immediate-past Senate committee chairman on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi, said a proper motion will be sponsored on the floor of the upper legislative chamber.
He said faces behind the diversion of the alleged funds, under the guise of consultancy fees, will be unearthed and appropriate measures taken to recover the money.
Nwaoboshi who also denied recent media reports that 22 bank accounts belonging to him were frozen by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP), challenged those behind the reports to publish the amount recovered.
He said: “Let me assure Nigerians that as soon as the case is settled, I shall bring a motion to investigate the $322 million of 774 local governments in Nigeria allegedly taken by consultants from the Paris Club refund. It must be investigated by Nigerians. Nothing will stop it.
“If the Senate fails to investigate it, I will take it up and make it a one-man show to ensure that faces behind the diversion of the funds are unmasked. Nigerians should expect that from me.”
Speaking on his legal tussle with SPIP, he said: “I don’t have 22 bank accounts. That is not to say that there is any law that forbids me from having up to that number of bank accounts or more than that in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, barely one month after the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly, Nigerian commercial banks have invaded the upper legislative chamber to market senators with juicy loan packages.
Daily Sun learnt that some of the banks, whose staff are already stationed at the National Assembly, are willing to offer law makers interest free loans that could run through 2023. The loans, it was learnt, are expected to be used by lawmakers to offset expenses incurred during the 2019 elections, secure decent accommodations and offset other miscellaneous expenses in Abuja before getting their usually allowances and statutory allocation.
According to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, the commercial banks are targeting lawmakers and offering packages of various kinds to them. He said some of the banks have gone ahead to open accounts with their funds without the authorisation of lawmakers and are now begging them to only append their signatures in order to enjoy the benefits attached to the packages.“Commercial banks are the ones looking for us and begging us to open accounts with them. Some of them even open the accounts and beg you to just append your signature, even without any deposits.
“They use their money to run these things and just want us to operate accounts with them. That has always been the practice and many of you are familiar with this practice…”