By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A consultancy firm, Mauritz Walton Limited, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, asking it to investigate alleged illegal diversion of Paris Club Refund that accrued to Delta State.
The firm, which told the anti-graft agency that it was engaged in 2014 to assist Delta State Government to recover over deduction on foreign loans by the Federal Government, alleged that part of the funds it recovered were diverted to pay “fake consultants”.
In the petition that was addressed to EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a copy of which was sighted by Vanguard, the firm, maintained that the state had on September 20, 2018, received a total sun of N47, 244, 796, 200.14 as the full and final tranche of Paris Club Refund.
It noted that whereas the sum of N14, 500, 000, 000 was paid to the state in 2016 as the first tranche, with additional payment of N8, 965, 918, 858.00 through Zenith Bank Account No. 1012906702.
“On or about June 2017, the second tranche was remitted into the same account on the amount of N10, 000, 000, 000.00, another N3, 803, 483, 681.20, was paid to the state government.
“In December of 2017, an additional N13, 803, 481.682.20 was paid into the same account as the third tranche. A final tranche of N47, 244, 796, 200.14 was paid to the state in September 2018, making it a total of N98, 317, 680, 420.50”.
The firm alleged that though it was instrumental to the recovery of the funds, it had yet to receive its consultancy fee which it said would be equivalent to 30% of the recovered amount.
It told EFCC that rather, its findings revealed that the fee was being diverted to accounts belonging to “other fake consultants”.
“We have it on good authority that the state government has quickly put mechanisms in place to state siphoning these funds through Hedge Securities and others.
“Our information tells us that Hedge Securities will also be paid through other sources to cover their tracks, especially through Delta State Internally Generated Revenue.
“We humbly appeal to the EFCC to intervene on our behalf on this matter. In the minimal is to block the accounts of the various fronts being used to illegally collect our legitimate earnings.
“We appeal to you to use your good office in recovering out consultancy fees which has been paid to various things of the state government”, read the petition which was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Dr. Maurice Ibe.