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3 Nov 2016

Drama as Reuben Abati Refuses to Return a 'Dime' to EFCC

Guardian columnist, Reuben Abati has purportedly made a U-turn about refunding a sum of N5 million to the EFCC.

Detained former presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he does not have any money to refund to the government, sources within the agency said.

The sources told Premium Times that Mr. Abati told interrogators that he had no immediate means of sourcing the amount for which he is being detained.

The EFCC accuses Mr. Abati of receiving N50 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. The money was part of $2.1 billion allocated for purchase of arms for the fight against Boko Haram, the EFCC says.

The latest development came days after Mr. Abati reportedly promised to refund N5 million.

The former presidential spokesperson has been in EFCC detention since turning himself in last week Monday. Apart from being unable to refund the money, Mr. Abati also allegedly told investigators that he could not provide documentary evidence showing how he spent the N50 million.

Mr. Abati reportedly said he disbursed the money as cash and material gifts to journalists during the 2015 campaign. Asked to name names of media practitioners who benefited from the largess, Mr. Abati said he did not keep such records.

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