EFCC writes NASS over N2.5b strange payment to Omisore

…retrieves budget padding document on how N60b was shared to Senators, Reps in 6th Assembly
…May summon former Clerks, top directorsThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) has asked the management of National Assembly to explain why it paid N2.5billion to the detained ex-Deputy Governor of Osun State, Otunba Iyiola Omisore.

The letter followed the discovery of the strange remittance in Omisore’s account by the management when he was a serving Senator.
But the management, in a response to the EFCC signed by a female top official, said Omisore was neither awarded any contract nor engaged for any service to have warranted such a payment.
In a follow up letter, the anti-graft agency mandated the management to be more “forthcoming on what the N2.5billion was meant for to have earned remittance into the account of the ex-Deputy Governor.”
The NASS bureaucracy has up till the end of this week to clarify the “purpose of such a huge payment” to an individual.
There were indications that the commission may quiz two former Clerks to the National Assembly and the Senate and some management staff in the Finance Department, including some directors.
Also, the EFCC has retrieved a budget padding document detailing how N60billion was built for extraneous overhead expenses for some Senators and members of the House of Representatives in the 6th Assembly.
Omisore was the chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee between 2007 and 2011.
According to EFCC findings, the strange payment of N2.5billion was discovered during the screening of Omisore’s transactions in the course of investigating a N1.310billion  illegally allocated to Omisore and three companies by the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA).
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said the EFCC stumbled on more deals by Omisore involving the National Assembly.
The source said if the detained suspect had cooperated with the anti-graft agency, there is a 90 per cent probability that the depth of the investigation might not reach the new levels.
The source said: “Following the discovery of a strange payment of N2.5billion into the account of the former Deputy Governor by the National Assembly, we wrote the management to produce evidence of contracts which attracted such a remittance.
“We were able to detect that the sum in question was transferred from the Skye Bank account of the National Assembly to Omisore’s account.
“We got a letter from the management that Omisore did not at any time execute any contract for the National Assembly or offer any service to be able to earn such a payment.
“We have written another letter to the management to explain why the money was paid to Omisore. We want those in the relevant desk behind the payment to guide the EFCC accordingly.
“We are expecting a detailed response from the management of the National Assembly including vouchers for the payment and authorization. Once we get their response, we will invite those connected with it.
“So far, it is apparent that we may invite some former Clerks to the National Assembly and the Senate and some directors for questioning.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “This was why we secured a court warrant to detain Omisore to get to the roots of this latest payment.”
Meanwhile, the EFCC has retrieved a document on budget padding which detailed  how N60billion was built for extraneous overhead expenses for some Senators and members of the House of Representatives in the 6th Assembly.
Omisore was the chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee between 2007 and 2011.
Another source said: “In the course of searching Omisore’s residence at 1, Kainji Crescent in Maitama, Abuja, we stumbled on a document on budget padding worth about N60billion for some Senators and House of Representatives.
“Immediately, we picked the document, Omisore was a bit concerned. He asked our operatives to limit their investigation to only the N1.310billion from ONSA but we insisted that we are interested in the document.
“It contained a list of budget padding of about N60billion and how it was spread for some Senators and members of the House of Representatives from 2007 and 2011.
“A crack team is already looking into the details of the padding of the budget and the affected Senators and Representatives.
“Certainly, as a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, we expect him to open up on the new document in our care.
“The fact that Omisore proved difficult before we arrested him has actually paid off for EFCC. His stubbornness has assisted in opening new investigation frontiers. If he had honoured our invitation as a gentleman, we might not be able get to these new areas of investigation.”
After about three months of hide and seek, the EFCC last Sunday arrested Omisore in Abuja for alleged N1.310billion ONSA slush funds, about N1.310billion traced to him  and three companies.
According to a report by the EFCC, the funds were  remitted as follows: Fimex Gilt Limited(N160m)-8/8/2014in UBA; Metropolitan Consortium(N350m)—9/7/14 in First Bank; Sawanara(N300m)—1/8/14 in First Bank and Metropolitan Consortium(N350m)-1/8/14 in First Bank.
But his days might be longer in the custody of the EFCC following new fraud allegations uncovered against him.

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