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N25b Refund Pits Ubah Against Obiano

The Federal Government’s N25b refund to Anambra State for its rehabilitation and reconstruction of federal roads has pitted Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra South) against Governor Willie Obiano.

Senator Ubah, at a news conference yesterday, gave Obiano 72 hours to address the people on why he discounted the promissory notes with about N8 billion ahead of their maturity dates.

Ubah threatened to sue the government if Obiano fails to heed his request.

The promissory notes were issued to Anambra State by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in December 2018 and April 2019 to the tune of N10.097 billion and N15.146 billion. They had maturity dates of December 28, 2020 and April 1, 2022.

Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment C-Don Adinuba, in a statement, denied that the state raised money from ‘the DMO or the Federal Ministry of Finance under a bond, or any financial instrument from any institution or organisation’.

But Ubah, who had documents to support his claims, insisted that the N25 billion was expected to be paid in two instalments.

He lamented that of the amount, only N16.1 billion was realised by the government after Obiano discounted the promissory notes at 15 and 13 per cent, through a commercial bank.

According to him, the state lost N8.85 billion after the promissory notes were acquired at discounted rates.

He said: “The governor paid banks over N8 billion to cash out the promissory notes before their maturity dates, thereby ensuring that Anambra lost the amount from the transactions.”

According to the documents obtained from the DMO by Ubah, the amount and tenor of the first promissory note was N10,097,722,436.90 and issued on December 28, 2018, with a maturity date of December 28, 2020.

The second promissory note of N15,146, 583, 655.00 was issued by the DMO on April 1, 2019, with a maturity date of April 1, 2022.

The letter from the DMO to Ubah reads: “…these were the only promissory notes issued to the Anambra State government which fully settled the outstanding claims of the state as approved by the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly.”

Ubah also alleged that ‘in order for Governor Obiano to cash out on the N25 billion that hadn’t matured, he terminated the deal by giving up 15 and 13 per cent of the total sums per annum.

He added: “The governor paid about N3 billion in bank charges for N10 billion on the first promissory note and N4.5 billion on the second promissory note of N15 billion.”

The lawmaker, however, vowed to petition the House of Assembly and sue the governor should he fail to explain to the people why he threw away N8 billion in his rush to cash out the money before the maturity dates.

He also told the governor to explain what he did with the N16 billion he collected after making the state lose N8 billion as discounts, and why he allegedly lied about the funds.

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