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Nigerian Senate President’s aide faces trial for corruption

One of the aides to the President of the Nigerian Senate, Mr. Gbenga Makanjuola,
is to be tried for alleged diversion of $11.4 million Paris Club loan refund.The deputy chief of staff to Saraki is to be arraigned along with a former Managing Director of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN), Mr. Robert Mbonu.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the duo and some others conspired to commit the offence and are being taken to the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The other accused are Melrose General Services Limited and Obiora Amobi.

Following protests by states over deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the release of $1.8 billion refund to them as first instalement, pending the reconciliation of records.

Each state was entitled to 25 percent of the amount claimed.

The release of the cash was trailed by a huge controversy, including payment of N19 billion consultancy fees and $86 million into the accounts of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

The EFCC in the last two years has been investigating the alleged diversion of the money in the guise of consultancy fees.

About $183,000 of the N3.5 billion was transferred to a Dubai jeweler patronised by some senators.

In the charges against the suspects, the EFCC said there was no service rendered to have warranted the payment.

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