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PTDF: $23.7m still missing – Ribadu

Posted by By HAMMED BODUNRIN, Osogbo on 2007/02/23 | Views: 556 |

PTDF: $23.7m still missing – Ribadu


Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, says that the sum of 23.7 million US dollars is still missing from the coffers of the controversial Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, says that the sum of 23.7 million US dollars is still missing from the coffers of the controversial Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

Vice President Atiku Ababakar had, while debunking allegations of corruption and illegal diversion of the PTDF money in London, earlier in the week, declared that no money was missing. He explained that the purportedly misappropriated funds was invested in private bank account to yield interest and had since been paid back into the fund.

Speaking as a guest speaker at the 4th Annual Professor E.A. Olawoyin Lecture Series at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Ribadu countered the claim, revealing that the missing money was meant for projects.

The EFCC boss, while reacting to the allegation of partisanship, insisted that he could not indict President Obasanjo because, according to him, there was no evidence to link him to the alleged PTDF looting. He said that the N250 million paid Chief Afe Babalola went through due processes as retainership for his services to help the body register a company as well as legal representation in court.
"This was a money legally paid to the lawyer. Are you saying because Afe Babalola is Obasanjo’s friend or lawyer, he has no right to properly take job from the Federal Government? Do you want me to go and reverse the whole process simply because somebody hates somebody who must be indicted? That is not possible," he declared.

Ribadu urged Nigerian lawyers to support the war against corruption, alleging that some of them helped in the perpetration of crimes in the country.
"I am sorry to say that from my experience in law enforcement, some of the greatest crimes perpetrated against our society have had the full blessings of lawyers," he said, adding: "We must do something about this."

The EFCC boss, who paid glowing tributes to Lagos lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi for being sincere in his crusade against corruption accused some layers of causing confusion and chaos so that they could take job as attorney-general from military government, a dream he said would never come true in the country.

The lecture, organized by the Justice Chambers of the Law Faculty of the University, was however, almost marred by a group of protesting students who stormed Oduduwa Hall, venue of the event, kicking against the EFCC and calling for the prosecution of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Also, the students waylaid Ribadu outside the hall and held up his convoy for about five minutes, chanting anti-government songs and bearing placards accusing the EFCC of bias.

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