The family of businessman, Mr Goodie Ibru, has reacted to the announcement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), declaring him wanted over alleged “capital market fraud, money laundering and diversion of funds”.
In a statement on Thursday, the family described the EFCC’s action as scandalous, misleading and unfortunate and created the impression that Mr Ibru was on the run.
They added that the businessman had earlier responded to the agency’s invitation for an interview on July 25.
The family explained further that he was in the United Kingdom for medical treatment, but promised to honour the invitation on his return in the first week of November.
They described the announcement by the EFCC as an indication of bias into an investigation of an issue that borders primarily on family misunderstanding, which they said the anti-graft agency was fully aware of.
A publication on the anti-graft agency’s website had said Mr Ibru was declared wanted in connection with various crimes.
The EFCC said Ibru allegedly “diverted billions of Naira and assets of Ikeja Hotels Plc, owners of Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Federal Palace Hotel and Capital Hotel and owners of Sheraton Hotel, Abuja to his personal benefits”.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria has declared Mr Goodie Ibru wanted for various offences.
A publication on the anti-graft agency’s website by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujarem, says Mr Ibru is wanted in connection with a case of conspiracy, capital market fraud, stealing, diversion and money laundering.
The EFCC said: “He allegedly diverted billions of Naira and assets of Ikeja Hotels Plc, owners of Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Federal Palace Hotel and Capital Hotel and owners of Sheraton Hotel, Abuja to his personal benefits.
Mr Ibru, 74, is a native of Agbara-Otoh in Delta State, southern Nigeria.
The Federal Government has promised a better national budget in 2017 to address the issue of abandoned projects across Nigeria.
The government also pledged to bring a rest to the crisis of confidence over the 2016 Budget, which has been fraught with allegation of padding right from the beginning.
The Minister of National Planning and Budget, Mr Udo Udoma, disclosed this on Wednesday at a two-day conference on capital projects, implementation and monitoring organised by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Budget Planning, Mrs Olasunbor Ayinde, hinted that the 2017 Budget would attain uniform cost price for all items presented by MDAs to fund the abandoned projects spread across the country.
President of the NIQS, Mercy Iyortyer, expressed worry over the more than 19,000 abandoned projects across Nigeria, including the Benue State Sheraton Hotel which has remained uncompleted after 33 years.
The Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, blamed the spate of uncompleted projects on lack of ethical behaviour on the part of professionals.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Public Procurement, Senator Mohammed Abdulsalami, on his part explained the controversy of budget padding while he blamed the legislature and the executive for lack of restraint.