The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has questioned the Director General and 24 other officials of a Federal Government parastatal under the Foreign Affairs Ministry over the questionable withdrawal of the sum of $219,000.00 (about N66 million) from the account of the Nigerian Technical Cooperation Fund, NTCF.
The money, which was meant to provide some development projects for some African countries in the 2013 fiscal year, is jointly managed by the African Development Bank and the NTCF and domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
It was learnt that the head of the parastatal, who is from Borno State, connived with 24 other Nigerian officials in the parastatal and illegally siphoned the amount for personal use, thereby triggering petitions to the EFCC from aggrieved insider staff of the agency.
Based on the series of petitions fired by insiders, the EFCC immediately dispatched operatives, who posed as auditors and spend days to scrutinise the accounts of the agency.
“It was clear to use that the money in question had been withdrawn by the officials but what we want to know is on what the money was used for,” one of the sources close to the investigation said in Abuja.
“Having established a prima facie case of illegal withdrawal, we invited the DG and the 24 staff and they were interrogated between Tuesday and Thursday and all of them made useful statements to the commission.
“They were all admitted to administrative bail having accepted to refund the money to the last kobo and we have asked them to report back on Thursday,” an EFCC source confirmed llast night.
It was however gathered that some influential politicians from Borno State, where the DG hails from, have attempted to prevail on the EFCC to tamper justice with mercy and grant the man what they term “soft landing”.