Paris Club scam: EFCC probes Delta, Bauchi, C’River, Nasarawa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission opened a fresh probe into how the Paris Club loan refund was spent in Bauchi , Delta, Cross River and Nasarawa states .
The Federal Government had in January released N 522 bn to the 36 states of the federation after the state governments had submitted their claims of over - deductions for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002 to the Federal Government due to the First Line Charge deductions from Federation Account Allocation Committee allocations .
The Nigeria Governors ’ Forum was said to have taken about five per cent of the total money under the pretext that it was being used to pay some financial consultants .
However , the EFCC discovered that after the monies were finally paid into the accounts of the states , some governors allegedly made fresh deductions again under the pretext that they had to pay more consultants at the state level.
A detective at the EFCC said, “After paying consultants from the NGF account , the states shared the money among themselves . Rather than use these monies in paying salaries and pensions, some of the governors diverted funds by paying more consultants at the state level . So , we are investigating Bauchi , Delta, Nasarawa and Cross River states . ”
The commission has also arrested a consultant with Mountain Crest Investment Limited for allegedly receiving $ 3 m from the NGF.
The source told our correspondent that the commission had applied for the forfeiture of N 1 . 2bn which had been frozen in the account of another consultant, Melrose General Services Limited, which received payment from the NGF.
The source added , “ When the Federal Government released N 522 bn as the first tranche of the Paris Club loan refund , the governors under the aegis of the NGF , paid monies into the accounts of about four consultants .
“ Melrose General Services received N 3 . 5 bn . We were able to recover N 220 m while another N 1 . 2 bn found in one of the accounts has been frozen . We have applied to the courts for an interim forfeiture order.
“ The NGF also paid $ 3 m into the account of Mountain Crest. Mountain Crest also transferred $ 1 m to the account of Gosh Project Limited . We arrested the head of the company and he was not even able to explain the services he rendered . We strongly believe that he was a front for one of the governors . ”
The EFCC source told our correspondent that $ . 5 m had been recovered from Gosh Projects while N 100m which was invested in treasury bills will also be recovered from the company.