The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the status of all recovered loots and assets from 2002 – 2020 by agencies of the Federal Government has summoned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to appear before it to explain the $300 million alleged slush funds it deposited with the defunct Skye Bank, now Polaris.

Chairman of the committee, Adejoro Adeogun, handed the summon on Thursday when the Acting Managing Director of Polaris Bank, Innocent Ike, appeared before it during its resumed investigative hearing.

Polaris Bank’s MD had told the committee that the NNPC opened a current account with the then Skye Bank in January 2012 in which various deposits totalling $300 million were made over time.

He said the money that was in Skye Bank and subsequently Polaris was money deposited in normal business transactions as any other customer, saying it was not a slush fund.

“When the instruction was given by the federal government to transfer the money to the TSA, we simply could not pay because of the challenges the bank was having at that time. We engaged the various government agencies and we disclosed the amount to them.

“Somewhere along the line, precisely December 2018, the federal government through the now disbanded presidential investigation panel for the recovery of public property instituted a suit on this matter.

“We started that payment as agreed and entered as consent judgement and we have to state that as of today before this honourable committee, we have made a total payment of $224, 324, 958 and 75 cent which was outstanding as of February 2019. We have fully repaid that amount of money, we don’t have anything outstanding in our books.”

However, the committee told Polaris Bank that the NNPC in its recent letter, said it was yet to receive the said payment as claimed and therefore, directed the bank to furnish it with the evidence of repayments to the NNPC.

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Written By Ewuwuni Onnoghen-Theophilus (Mrs.), LL.M, MCIArb.

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