The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Sunday said it is not aware of any petition on the leaked memo by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, requesting for a N13m loan from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) In order to attend a Conference on Tourism in Beijing, China.
The letter, which was addressed to the Acting Director-General of the NBC was leaked by some officials of the commission to online news medium, Saharareporters partly reads “”I am directed to inform you [NBC] that the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is proceeding on official assignment to China on Sunday, 15th May 2016”.
“The Honourable Minister has therefore approved that you loan the Ministry the total sum of (N13,120,470) thirteen million, one hundred and twenty thousand, four hundred and seventy Naira only, to enable him and his team embark on the China trip to carry out the assignment in the interest of the nation”.
The leaked letter however, generated mixed reactions from cross section of Nigerians. While some described the minister’s action as abuse of public office and breach of protocol, others said there is nothing wrong in the action since the Minister stated in the letter that the money is a loan and will be refunded after his ministry has received allocation.
To others, N13m for a trip to China is too expensive, while some also argued that the amount is justified given the exchange rate. Some also called on the EFCC to investigate the issue while others also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to wade in if he (Buhari) is indeed sincere about his fight against corruption.
But speaking on the issue, spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the anti-graft agency is not aware of the leaked memo.
He also said it has not received any petition from anyone on the incident.
“We are not aware of the leaked memo. We have also not received any petition from anyone concerning the issue,” he said.