Bailout funds: Court orders interim forfeiture of govs’ N1.2bn to FG

A Federal High Court on Friday ordered that N1.2 billion allegedly paid a firm ‘fraudulently’ by the Nigeria Governors Forum be forfeited to the Federal government.

The court gave the ruling in response to an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In granting the EFCC prayers, Justice Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered anyone interested in the money to appear before the court within 14 days to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government.

The EFCC has been investigating the alleged fraud by the NGF, an association of the governors of the 36 states.

That investigation by the EFCC is believed to be one of the reasons several governors, and senators loyal to them, are opposed to Ibrahim Magu as substantive EFCC chairman.

Sources at the EFCC said the N1.2 billion is part of the Paris Club refund given to states by the Federal government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with governors who failed to pay their workers despite receiving the refund and other bailout funds.

The affected governors had claimed to have paid the money to a consultant who helped them file for the refund of the excess deductions from the Paris Club loans.

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