Benue: Constituents petition EFCC over alleged COVID-19 loan kickbacks by Reps member, Godday Samuel

Some constituents of Godday Samuel Adagboyi, the lawmaker representing Apa/Agatu at the House of Representatives have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission over the alleged involvement of the lawmaker in COVID-19 loan kickbacks.

The lawmaker and his aides were accused of collecting kickbacks from their constituents who applied for the COVID-19 loan.

In a petition written by Barrister James Hope of Choicevine Legal & Consulting, on behalf of Mr. Sunday Philip and Mr. Ehoche J. Ehoche, it was alleged that Godday and some of his aides, they identified as Ekah Benard Musa, Hon. Ogweje Usman Ngbede (Victor) and several others were accused of mismanaged, extorted, criminally conspired and diverted the COVID-19 intervention funds/loans meant for the benefit of some constituents in Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency Of Benue State.

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The petition sighted by our reported further alleged that in some instances, the COVID-19 intervention funds/loan were paid by NIRSA Microfinance Bank directly into a bank account belonging to one Mr. Benard Ekah Musa who is a senior legislative aide to the Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi which funds were then dispersed indiscriminately to some selected constituents using a partial consideration.

They called on the anti-graft agencies to without delay invite the lawmaker and his aides for questioning over the allegation.
They promised to provide more details when called up by the anti-graft agencies.

The petition reads below;

Our Clients are social/developmental right crusaders and public accountability advocates. The Commission would recall that there was a global lockdown owing to the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus in 2019.

The Commission would further recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria released various amounts of funds to citizens so as to cushion the negative impacts of the lockdown. Some of the covid-19 intervention funds were packaged in the form of soft loans while others were disbursed in the form of outright grants.

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It is common knowledge that the Covid-19 intervention funds/loans were principally disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s funded NIRSA Microfinance Bank.

It may interest the Commission to know that Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi is the current House of Representatives’ member, representing the good but impoverished people of Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency in the National Assembly.

The other suspects mentioned herein are his aides. Our clients had received numerous complaints from some constituent members of Apa/Agatu Federal constituency regarding the disbursement of the covid-19 intervention funds/loans.

It was alleged that the office of a certain Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi connived with some staff of the NIRSAL Microfinance bank to receive kickbacks out of the amount of monies of the covid-19 intervention funds/loans released to the constituents. The alleged criminal scheme involved the suspects mentioned hereto in this petition and some other aides of the Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi wherein it was that they collected various sums of monies out of the covid-19 intervention funds/loans via their bank account numbers on the false pretence that the kickbacks were needed by the CBN personnel in order to facilitate future fund release.

It was also alleged that in some instances, the Covid-19 intervention funds/loan were paid by NIRSA Microfinance Bank directly into a bank account belonging to one Mr. Benard Ekah Musa who is a senior legislative aide to the Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi which funds were then dispersed indiscriminately to some selected constituents using a partial consideration.

It is strange why NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Political would allegedly pay loan monies belonging to numerous beneficiaries into a single bank account of a political aide for disbursement is an abuse of due process and capable of breeding corruption.

This allegation of criminal conspiracy needs to be painstakingly investigated so as to restore the waning hope of the citizenry of any future intervention programmes that may be embarked upon by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

It was also alleged that Some of the constituents who were the beneficiaries of the Covid-19 Loans were also deceived and directed to remit various sums of money in cash out of their covid-19 intervention funds/loans and same were handed over to the aides of the Hon Godday Samuel Odagboyi and some other persons nominated by them.

OUR PRAYERS: Our clients respectfully pray and urge the Commission to specifically undertake the following actions viz:
i Conduct a thorough investigation into the above mentioned suspects with a view to determining their involvements in the covid-19 intervention funds/loans alleged fraud.

ii To thoroughly examine the staff of the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank and the relevant public/civil servants and to also x-ray and carefully analyze all the bank account numbers and other financial records of the Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi, Benard Ekah Musa, Hon. Ogweje Usman Ngbede (Victor) and any other aides, cronies, staff, friends, political/business associates and family members with a view to determining whether the Hon. Godday Samuel Odagboyi unlawfully derived any direct or indirect pecuniary benefit from the proceeds of the kickbacks of the Covid-19 intervention funds/loans meant for the constituents of Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency.

iii To thoroughly investigate NIRSA Microfinance Bank and determine whether all the laid down due-process were followed in the release of the covid-19 intervention funds/loans to the constituents of Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency and show whether any unauthorized persons were allowed to illegally benefit from the covid-19 intervention funds/loans in an improper manner contrary to the CBN guidelines and the anti-corruption policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

iv To interact with the constituent members of the Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency so as to determine the extent of the fraud scheme and the quantum of funds involved with a view to taking appropriate restorative/recovery measures against the fraudsters and their cronies.

v To investigate and prosecute any person or persons found to have committed any infraction in relation to the covid-19 intervention funds/loans released to the constituents of Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency. vi Extend the investigation to cover any other covid-19 palliative materials meant for the constituents of Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency with a view to determining if there has been any element of diversion, material hoarding, theft and embezzlement contrary to the extant Nigerian penal laws.

CONCLUSION:
Our clients are available and they will be eager to provide any relevant information and documents at their disposal and to also take the team of investigators to interface with the victims of the covid-19 intervention funds/loans alleged scam to aid their investigation.

Our clients wish to use this medium to pledge their unwavering loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his anti-corruption crusade. Our clients truly count on the Commission’s wise and prompt action, please.

Efforts by our reporter to reach Hon. Godday Samuel Adagboyi for comment proved abortive as the lawmaker did not respond to calls put across to his mobile line.

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