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Obama dinner: Corporate donors shun EFCC’s invitation for refund

Posted by From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation on 2008/12/08 | Views: 1539 |

Obama dinner: Corporate donors shun EFCC’s invitation for refund


Corporate firms which donated to the Africa for Obama Campaign Fund dinner have shunned the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to have their cash back.

Corporate firms which donated to the Africa for Obama Campaign Fund dinner have shunned the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to have their cash back.
The anti-graft commission had in August concluded investigations into the fund raising dinner, packaged by the Chairman of the group, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, who is also the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) and recovered N74.1million from the group.

The money is being kept in a bank account in Lagos.

Although the commission said it might not prosecute Mrs.Okereke-Onyiuke, it asked the donors to show up with evidence for refund.

Most of the donors have refused to show up since August 31 when the EFCC made the announcement.

A source said: "Over 70 firms and a few individuals bought the controversial dinner tickets. We have their list, which is made up of about 90 percent of corporate bodies.

"These firms are afraid of coming to the commission for refund. Most of the donors were banks and they seem to be nursing the fear that we may ask them to account for why they got involved in such a mess.

"Their fear was informed by the fact that the EFCC only issued an interim report on the dinner in August. So, they seem to be feeling that the commission might want to interact with the donors to conclude its investigations.

"Some of the companies are not coming forward because their shareholders may challenge them for being part of the programme. It may lead to boardroom crises in some firms.

"Also, since the dinner have become controversial, some of the companies, especially banks, do not want to take up issues with the EFCC because of the negative publicity.

"You should know that some consumers are sensitive and they may start boycotting products of the affected firms."

Asked why the EFCC did not reach out to the companies, the source said: "We need to identify and verify each donor before making payment.

"We have made a formal announcement that they should come forward for refund but they are just afraid for nothing. As far as the EFCC is concerned, the investigation of the fund has ended."

It was however learnt that the EFCC might give the donors a timeline after which the N74.1million might be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The source said: "The EFCC will still give the donors more time to come forward for refund.

"At worst, the money may be forfeited to the Federal Government."

On the about N20million expenditure incurred by the organisers on the dinner, the source said: "That is not the business of the EFCC.

"We have made it known to the NSE boss that the group should be responsible for its debt.

"No kobo will be withdrawn from the funds realised from the dinner. We will make refund to those who bought the tickets."

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown