This Day (Lagos)

17 March 2014

Nigeria: PDP Accuses CBN Gov of Giving APC N1 Billion

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, of financial recklessness and partisanship in his administration of the central bank, and is therefore calling for a detailed forensic audit of all the accounts and financial activities of the CBN from 2009 till date. In a statement issued by the party's National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, yesterday, PDP alleged that there was sufficient evidence to show that states controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its chieftains had benefitted from the financial recklessness of the suspended governor.

Specifically, PDP cited the instance of an APC chieftain, ostensibly, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nasir el-Rufai, who collected N5 billion for consultancy fees provided to the central bank and another N1 billion diverted to APC to enable it open offices across the federation.

PDP also demanded that the audit must establish and publish all movement of monies from the CBN accounts such as contract sums, donations and other extra-budgetary spending under the suspended CBN governor. The party said the audit would reveal all contracts awarded by the central bank during the five-year period, the beneficiary companies and persons behind them, as well as the value of the contracts and their status of execution.

It further alleged that facts available to it, some of which had already been published by the FRC, showed that within the period, the central bank engaged in the reckless award of inflated contracts through which over N680 billion of CBN money was frittered away. Stating that the beneficiaries of the contracts comprised highly corrupt persons who have been hiding under the toga of anti-corruption crusaders and whistle blowers to syphon the nation's resources, the PDP claimed it had been established that there were huge infractions on the management of the central bank's funds which made it impossible for it to properly prepare its financial statements since 2012 using IFRS.

The ruling party also alleged its investigation had revealed that the APC and its stalwarts had been the beneficiaries of syphoned CBN money, surreptitiously diverted to them by Sanusi.

Asserting that a fraudulent N48 billion contract was awarded to a leader of the APC while N5 billion was further paid to another stalwart of the party as consultancy fees, the PDP claimed that the central bank also diverted over N1billion to the APC to open offices across the nation in addition to the N100 million donated each to some chieftains of APC to fund their activities last year.

The PDP insisted that the audit must expose the true beneficiaries of over N150 billion doled out as developmental donations, especially as some of the institutions listed as beneficiaries such as the Bayero University Kano (BUK) had denied receiving the sums recorded against their names by the CBN.

It noted that BUK was widely reported to have announced that it received only N1 billion as against the N4 billion claimed by the CBN. "Our great party as well as other well meaning Nigerians are particularly worried by allegations that such funds may have actually ended up as financial support to clandestine groups working against the unity and corporate existence of the nation," the statement said.

It further stated that the "forensic audit will provide answers to how the central bank under Sanusi spent N20.202 billion on 'Legal and Professional Fees' in 2011, as well as the N1.257 billion spent on 'Private Guards' and 'Lunch for Policemen' in 2012. "It will explain to Nigerians how the sum of N23 million and N50 million were spent just to renovate the official residence of the CBN governor, while solving the puzzle of N848 million claimed to have been spent on the purchase of a property from the National Planning Commission (NPC) even without any transaction agreement."

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