The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says it was not the primary target of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), when the anti-graft agency stormed the Commission’s premises on Monday. A source at the Commission, who spoke to newsmen on the condition of anonymity, said that the anti-graft agency only visited the Commission to get some clarifications on an investigation about the involvement of an unnamed company in the ongoing $2.1 billion arms scandal.
It will be recalled that the operatives of the EFCC, had on Monday stormed the National Broadcasting Commission on a fact finding mission, over a transaction of unnamed company in connection with the ongoing arms deal scandal. According to the source, the operatives were received by the deputy director of finance who provided them with the commission’s account details for them to get some clarification needed by the anti-graft agency.
He noted that the company under investigation happened to belong to a former government official in the past administration, one of the companies that won the bid for the digitization programme of NBC and that the Commission’s name was sighted by the EFCC in the company’s bank account, where the commission stood as a guarantor to the company to secure a banking loan.
Contrary to the report by the media that the investigators ransacked some offices, especially in the finance department and carted away vital documents, the source told newsmen that there was no such thing, except the copy of the particular transaction date needed by the visitors.
‘‘The EFCC officials actually came to NBC, but they came to clarify certain information they got in the course of their investigation about the ongoing $2.1 billion arms deal by the former National Security Adviser. It wasn’t anything to do with NBC directly.
‘‘The claim by some media reports that the EFCC officials went away with some staff of NBC was not true, as the director of finance they claimed, Mr. Patrick Areh had been on leave, and the Director General was on working leave and couldn’t have been in the office as at the time of the visit.’’
Continuing, the source said, ‘‘Knowing EFCC, they do not give information when they want to visit anybody, so the report that the directors at NBC got the wind of EFCC coming and ran away was out of place. ‘‘If they want to visit for investigation, it is always impromptu. The DG has resumed because of this development and he has not been invited by EFCC. I repeat, the issue has nothing to do with NBC or its directors.
‘‘They just got information of what they were looking for and left. And nobody in NBC has been invited back to EFCC. We still carry on with our responsibility. I don’t think, giving out additional information to help out EFCC in the course of their job is bad. ‘‘The young fellow that came here did not spend more than two hour. All the officer in the commission were available, except the DG and two other director of finance, who has been on leave since 22 December and a few directors because of the season.
‘‘The investigation is not bothering us, every staff is on duty, the DG is also around and nobody has been invited. Knowing EFCC, if it was about NBC, somebody would have spent a night there, and then if the person did not spend night, they would have invited him.’’ However, it was gathered that the only staff that followed the EFCC team was the deputy director of finance, who drove in his car and came back some hours after.