Bankole, Nafada face fresh N40bn charge

ABUJA—FORMER Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Usman Bayero Nafada, who was quizzed last week by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside other principal officers of the sixth National Assembly is likely to be charged to court today with his former principal, Mr. Dimeji Bankole over allegations of corrupt enrichment and misappropriation of over N40 billion

Nafada is, however, presently in an undisclosed hospital in Abuja where operatives of the anti-graft agency are keeping surveillance on him as he was said to have been involved in an auto accident on his way to the EFCC’s office. The agency spokesman, Mr. Femi Babafemi who confirmed the auto accident yesterday did not however tell Vanguard Nafada’s condition.

A source at the EFCC told Vanguard that both Bankole and Nafada were facing fresh charges over a N40 billion loan scam unilaterally sourced by the leadership of the last House of Representatives.

Bankole is already facing a 16-count charge of allegedly misappropriating N9 billion capital project fund through contract inflation. The EFCC source said the two former legislators were likely to be arraigned before another court today.

When contacted on phone, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi confirmed that Nafada was being detained in connection with a different case. Babafemi, however, declined to give further details of the new case against the former deputy speaker.

Dragnet over loan scam

The anti-corruption agency has extended its dragnet over the loan scam and other financial infractions in the last House of Representatives, even as fears are entertained that more principal officers of the last House would be arrested by the commission.

EFCC had, last Wednesday, quizzed Nafada and five other principal officers of the House over the sharing of the N10 billion loan allegedly secured by the former speaker, Dimeji Bankole, who is currently facing prosecution.

The anti_corruption agency had invited the principal officers of the past National Assembly, including former House Leader, Chief Tunde Akogun, Baba Shehu Agaie, Deputy Minority Leader, Sulaiman Kawu, Bello Mohammed, and former Minority Leader in the House, Senator Ali Ndume, who just won election into the Senate.

The move, according to EFCC sources, is aimed at tightening the noose around the former speaker.

Vanguard had reported how the ex-Speaker and his colleagues shared the N10 billion loan which was an outcome of an executive session wherein members insisted on enhancing their allowances. According to reports, the members had prevailed on the former Speaker to source and share the N10 billion loan, with Bankole getting about N100 million whereas his deputy got N80 million.

The House Leader was said to have received about N60 million and the Deputy House leader got N57.5 million. The Chief Whip of the House received N55 million, Deputy Chief Whip got N54.5 million; Minority Leader received N54.5 million, Minority Whip, N20 million, Deputy Minority Leader, N50 million while Deputy Minority Whip received N50 million.

The former Speaker was arrested last Sunday night after a stand-off between his security personnel and officers of the anti-corruption organization which lasted for many days and after Bankole had repeatedly shunned invitations by the Commission to come and answer questions on allegations of corruption.

SOURCE: VANGUARD

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