Rights groups ask Buhari to probe $1b alleged fraud

Emmanuel Onwubiko

Emmanuel Onwubiko

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and Citizens United Against Corruption (CUAC) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the alleged $1 billion Disney investment deal signed in 2004.

HURIWA alleged that the deal was terminated by the immediate past administration.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, the National Convener of the association, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the Director, CUAC, Mr. Cyril Ezeani, said the project named ‘Heritage City African Kingdom and Empire Theme Park’, which is a replica of the Disney World Centre in the United States was conceptualised during Mallam Nasir El-Rufia’s tenure as FCT minister in 2004.

Onwubiko stressed that the Empire Theme Park was expected to attract an estimated $1 billion direct foreign investment into Nigeria, stressing that it would also create about 14,000 to 15,000 jobs for unemployed youths as well as provide earnings of about $3 billion to the economy annually.

He said: “We are in possession of documents to show that this laudable project was scuttled due to allegations of N1.9 billion bribe. For the avoidance of doubt, our key objectives was to see that all those involved in this corrupt practice are brought to book in accordance with the law and for the Federal Government to seek means of bringing the investment back to our country as one of the ways to come out of the economic recession.”

He urged the anti-graft agencies to investigate, arrest and prosecute all those involved in this act.

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