ABOUT five billion dollars may have been slashed off Nigeria's debt by a 1988 debt buy-back deal going by the findings of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts which investigated such past transactions.
The committee which was until recently led by Senator Idris Abubakar concluded in its yet to be debated report that contrary to speculations, the debt buy back deal believed to have been fraudulently executed was somewhat beneficial to the country.
The committee's findings which runs against the recent campaign of looting by former football star, John Fashanu, draws largely from submissions of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other principal witnesses to conclude that one "Greenland Company", role in the business was transparent.
Besides, the Abubakar-led committee, stressed that the deal had led to the rescheduling of the London Club debt leading to a situation where the debt will no longer exist by the year 2030.
Greenland company reportedly formed by government on expert advice and managed by Bob Minton carried out the transaction in accordance with set rules.
The reports backed up its judgement with the extensive arguments of National Security Adviser (NSA), Lt-Gen. Aliyu Gusau (rtd) that to the best of his knowledge not a kobo was recovered in respect of any debt buy back," and "no fraud was established."
It also noted the submission of Maiye Rafindadi as deputy governor, Domestic Operations of the CBN that the exercise was procedurally in order.
Although Abubakar was moved from that committee after his report was submitted to the public affairs committee as chairman, sources said the legislator may push for a senate consideration of the findings when they resume July 11.
The source hinted that the renewed bid for a consideration of the funding is because of raging controversy over the veracity or otherwise of Fashanu's claim to discovering over N600 billion from such debt buy back in the former president Ibrahim Babangida regime.
While Fashanu insists that his discovery was borne out of patriotism, one of those linked with the transaction, Mr. Bob Minton has accused him (Fashanu) of working for the Scientologist, a controversial United States group, in the bid to run him down.
Minton stressed that he has consistently taken on the group's disputed objectives to the level where they would work on any thing to either distract him or discredit his person.
The Presidency is also said to have been discouraged from using Fashanu's pronouncement as a lead because of an alleged demand for fee by the former footballer. Close to N500 million is reported to have been demanded by the United Kingdom (UK) resident, who justified the request by saying he has sank his personal money into the investigations.
The former Wimbledon of England striker has, however, denied ulterior motives.
It was not clear at the weekend, when the senate will consider the report but fears are present that if others usually emergent matter rear up before resumption, the report may like the one by the Senate Sharia Committee, end in the Senate's document recess.
But, a senator told The Guardian on Sunday: "We have to decide on how we will marry the contradictions over these debt buy back stories. We are hearing of discoveries, while an institution like the senate is giving clearance, indirectly to Greenland - an actor in the deal. The onus will now be on Fashanu, for instance to prove his case, or further authenticate his story."