Lawyer Faults Falana over Alleged Diversion of Remittance on CERPAC Project

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Legal Advisor to Continental Transfert Technique Limited (CTTL), Dr. Adewole Adebayo, has faulted a human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, over his allegations of criminal diversion of public funds arising from the upward review of the Combined Expatriate Residence Permits and Alien Cards (CERPAC) project fee from $1,000 to $2, 000 approved by the federal government through the Ministry of Interior in December 2018.

Falana was said to have alleged criminal diversions of public funds and wrongful enrichment of a foreign consultant by the Ministry of Interior, through extortion of foreigners resident in Nigeria, in gross violation of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Presidential Executive Order No. 5 and FG’s policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA).

But addressing journalists in Abuja, on behalf of his client, Adebayo who challenged Falana to a debate over his allegations, averred that all the allegations raised by the human rights activist, were deliberate falsehood in its entirety, stressing that there was no single diversion of funds.

He said since inception in 1999 no single consultant or foreigner has been involved in the running of the CERPAC project.

According to him, the company, operating on Private Public Partnership (PPP) scheme has not violated the CBN Act or the Presidential Executive Order of the Federal Government Policy of the Single Treasury Account (TSA).

He said no private company including CTTL is authorised under the CERPAC project to collect any fee or money on behalf of government, adding that collection of revenue for government is not CTTL’s mandate.

The CERPAC project, the lawyer said, has gone through the Kolade panel of 2000, which cancelled many contracts under the military government but approved and recommended the CERPAC agreement.

He added that the contract went before the Federal Executive Council sessions and got approvals, explaining further that since its implementation began, the CERPAC contract has survived dozens of Senate and House of Representatives hearing and investigations by the

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In addition, he said the contract also survived arbitration in London in 2008, High Court of London judgment also in 2008, the United States District Court, Washington DC judgment in 2010, Federal High Court in 2010, United States Court of Appeals Washington DC judgment in 2015.