Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, PDP, Delta North, yesterday asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to come out with any evidence against him that he took a loan of N1.2 billion from the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, Senator Nwaoboshi noted that the moves by EFCC to blackmail him would be an effort in futility against the backdrop that he did not offend the law, adding that those behind the issue should note that the present government would come and go.
He said he was a lawmaker and not a lawbreaker, even as he said that the documents were there in NEXIM to verify and that he did not have anything to hide.
Senator Nwaoboshi said that he never took a loan of N1.2 billion from the bank as a person, just as he stressed that any interested party should cross-check the minutes of the board meeting where the loan facility was approved as a way of verifying that the board duly excused him from the meeting. He added that it was on record that Delta State government had been repaying the loan.
It would be recalled that EFCC had claimed that Nwaoboshi secured a N1.2billion loan in 2014 under the Local Industrial Growth Scheme, when he was sitting on the Board of Directors of NEXIM Bank, alleging that part of N1.2billion facility was diverted for other use other than what it was granted for.
Senator Nwaoboshi said, “I didn’t take a loan of N1.2bn. I challenge EFCC to show the documents that I Peter Nwaoboshi took a loan of N1.2 billion. The company in question has Nigerian and Chinese directors. It is a manufacturing company. They approached NEXIM bank to take a loan of N1.2 billion.
Because I know some of the directors, I excused myself from participating in the process in accordance with the law. It was the Deputy Governor of CBN who was the chairman of the board.
“The tenure of the loan was for a period of five years. It means it will expire in 2019. The company domiciled the payment of that contract to Nexim Bank and the Delta State Government has been paying the money into this account in Nexim Bank, including the one they paid just last week.
“Where now lies the diversion. Even if the money was diverted without conceding, Nexim Bank will return after five years and recover their money. Where now lies the offence?
“For the records, the Delta State Government does not pay through the company. They pay directly to the bank. EFCC has written to Delta State Government and they have been told that no offence was committed.
“The bank never complained to EFCC. EFCC on its own is pushing for this case because they think we are supporting some people.
‘In any business I transact, I try as much as possible to move within the law. I am a free man, I am a lawmaker, I don’t break the law. I am a little bit hesitant to speak on the matter because EFCC has not actually come out to say that they are behind the stories flying around. The facts are in Nexim bank. The profoma invoice for the execution of thee contract is in Nexim bank, they are verifiable.
“What the law requires you is to pay the loan and at the end of the tenure of the loan facility, the bank calls for the loan and interest. If you cannot pay, the bank will refer to the security. The loan still has two year period to go.”