Former First Lady Denies Involvement In Fraud
Lanre Bello, Executive Director Leah Group has reacted to a story allegedly linking a former Kwara First Lady to the N2bn fraud in the Kwara State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Directorate (SMED) fund.
This is as some publications (not Naija News) had previously touted that the former first lady may be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with investigations into fraud on the 2bn fund.
The media reports had alleged that the former First Lady of Kwara State diverted part of the loot to her foundation.
Naija News, however, understands the publications didn’t specifically mention the foundation or the former First Lady’s name in its release.
But the former First Lady reacting through a statement released through her foundation, declared the foundation merely took a loan of N16milllion from SMED and has commenced repayment of same.
The statement also denied that the EFCC had extended any formal invitation to the former First Lady.
The foundation said: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication in The Nation Newspaper of 13th August 2019 in respect of the N2 billion Kwara State Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Directorate (SMED) fund where it was insinuated that our founder received part of the money.
“The insinuation suggested in the write up is absolutely untrue and a brazen attempt to malign our founder.
“While neither our organisation nor our founder was directly mentioned, the publication contained innuendo fully suggesting that our Founder was being targeted as reference was made to our mission statement.
“Our position is that in our quest to continue to serve the good people of Kwara State in pursuit of our mission to provide intervention in the Health sector, particularly the fight against breast and cervical cancers that is daily killing women, we approached the Kwara State SMED for a N16 million loan to develop a medical facility.
“The application was duly processed and approved. So far, the organisation has repaid N3 million and is currently working on paying the balance.
“At no time was any money paid into the accounts of our founder by the SMED neither has she received any cash from the scheme.
“Therefore, the insinuation that our founder has been evading EFCC invitation or is on the run is totally false. No invitation has been extended to her.
“For the records, we state emphatically that the insinuation that our founder directly received the money is not true.”