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Metro Nigeria's Arms Deal: ThisDay Boss, Obaigbena Released On Agreement To Return N670m Received


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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, gave Publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena a two-week ultimatum to refund N670million allegedly collected for un-executed contracts.

The Nation reports that Obaigbena was quizzed for two days on the activities of General Hydrocarbons and inflow into the company’s account from ONSA.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “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).

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“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 source added

“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, “ an EFCC official told the Nation.

Another source privy to the investigation said: “The EFCC has given Obaigbena a maximum of two weeks 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.”

On the payment made to NPAN, the source simply said: “Investigation is still in progress.”

The source added that EFCC operatives were courteous and Obaigbena was friendly and unperturbed during the investigation.



- TheNation
 
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