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$140m Bribery Allegation: Our probe was done openly at public hearing- Reps C’ttee

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JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja

 

The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes has dismissed as untrue the allegation by an online newspaper that some members of the Committee had collected $140 Million from the Chief Executive of Binnance Mr Richard Ten to cover up the alleged crime committed by the firm in Nigeria.

 

Chairman of the House Committee Hon. Ginger Obinna Onwusibe made the position of the Committee known during a press briefing on the allegation by the Committee on Tuesday at the National Assembly.

 

It would be recalled the House had on Wednesday May 8, 2024 passed a motion sponsored by a member calling for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the escape from custody of one of the Binnance executive Mr Najeem Anjarwalla from the facilities of the National Security Adviser NSA.

 

Few days later, an online newspaper Premium Times had reported that the sponsor of the motion Hon Dominic Okafor (Anambra,APGA) had negotiated and collected a bribe of $140 million from the Binnance Chief Executive Mr Richard Tenn to cover the lawmkers findings on behalf of the members.

 

But the lawmaker in a swift reaction distanced himself from the allegation and even threatened to sue the news medium if it fails to retract the malicious publication and tender apology to him.

Speaking on the matter on Tuesday, the Chairman of the House Committee Hon. Onwusibe said that the public was outraged by the news report hence the committee faced severe criticism and anger of the public.

He said that the Committee members did not  negotiate or receive any bribe from the Binnance Chief Executive or any other official of the company in Nigeria to shied any of them involved in the alleged crimes.

He however admitted that three members of the House Committee did have a meeting with the Binnance executives wherein they highlighted the important issues involved in the matter including using a warrant of arrest to get the company official to honour the invitation of the House to the probe.

He also said that the three members of the Committee were later approached by unknown persons to engage in subtle settlement which was rejected by the committee members.

He said that the Committee since it’s inauguration had been conducting it’s hearings in the open through public hearings adding that any settlement most be done when all the parties are present.

 

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