As part of the ongoing probe of about N284billion injected into the 2016 budget, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced a Bureau De Change (BDC) to a principal officer of the House of Representatives.
The BDC has been placed under surveillance following the suspicion that it was being used for slush funds.
The EFCC has shortlisted four principal officers, the former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, and 45 others for investigation.
Thirteen members, including four principal officers, have been listed as the first set of people to be quizzed.
The anti-graft agency has written the Code of Conduct Bureau on some issues in the Asset Declaration Forms of some of the 13 lawmakers in the first batch.
It was learnt that the EFCC had concluded preliminary investigation on the 2016 budget padding which has set the stage for interaction with those implicated.
The probe followed a petition against the House by Jibrin who detectives have discovered also has a case to answer.
Jibrin’s petition to EFCC, dated July 29, 2016 was sent through Hammart and Company, Doka Chambers, and Law Bond Solicitors.
The signatories are Mohammed Abdulhamid (Hammart and Company); A.B. Bako
(Doka Chambers) and C. Nwachukwu (Law Bond Solicitors).
A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “In the course of preliminary investigation of the padding of 2016 budget and constituency projects, we traced a Bureau De Change to a principal officer of the House. The company is named Libra Bureau De Change.
“We are suspecting that the BDC might have been used for slush funds. Our detectives have placed this BDC on surveillance.
“We will not release the name of the Representative linked with the BDC until a prima facie case has been established.”
Giving an update on the probe, the source said: “So far, 50 members of the House have been shortlisted for interrogation in connection with 2016 Budget padding.
“But we will only accommodate 13 representatives in the first batch to avoid any act capable of affecting the activities of the House because we are only looking into allegations.
“The EFCC has also written the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on the Asset Declaration Forms of some of the affected 13 members. We have specifically requested from CCB on whether these lawmakers declared some accounts in their names.
“We are only investigating the allegations in Jibrin’s petition; it is too early to pronounce any of the lawmakers guilty.
“ To ensure fairness, the EFCC is also probing some issues against Jibrin. While the petitioner might not like it, we cannot gloss over counter allegations against Jibrin.”