Presidency Lists Corruption Cases Under Goodluck Jonathan

The Presidency again on Monday confronted former President Goodluck Jonathan with instances of alleged corrupt practices during his administration.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, gave the instances in a statement made available to journalists.

Akande said the statement was a direct reply to reports attributed to Jonathan’s media office that the cases of corruption being mentioned were not true and that the government officials restating the instances were liars.

He recalled that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had recently said three persons stole $3bn during the last administration.

He said, “As the Vice-President said, $3bn was stolen in the so-called NNPC Strategic Alliance Contracts. The three persons involved are Jide Omokore, Kola Aluko and the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison- Maduekwe.

“The companies of both Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko lifted Nigerian crude oil and kept the proceeds. The total sums converted is in excess of $3bn including royalties, taxes, and fees unpaid for the asset from which the crude was taken.

“The case is the subject of a trial in Nigeria, and criminal investigations in the US and UK, and the assets of all the three individuals have been forfeited in Nigeria, the US, and the UK.”

Akande also cited the alleged diversion and theft of sums in excess of $2.5bn meant for the purchase of arms to prosecute the war against Boko Haram.

He said the first phase of the investigations revealed several sordid details, many of the assets of the culprits have been seized from them and they are facing trial.

He added, “The release of the sum of $289m in cash on February 25, 2015. Documents including cash vouchers indicated that the sum of $289,202,382 was taken from the Joint Venture Cash Call Account No. 000-0000-11658-366 of the NNPC/NAPIMS with JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, USA.

“N70bn was released in parts from the national treasury between January 8 and February 25, 2015.

“In another illegal disbursement on August 25, 2014, N60bn in cash, in tranches of N40bn and N20bn: the sum was not tied to any project or procurement and was then shared between two security agencies under the supervision of the then NSA.

“Most of these sums ended up in the hands of senior PDP members some of whom had returned parts of the loot. Some are standing trial for these offences. These facts are in the public domain.”

The presidential spokesman added that there was another set of illegal fund withdrawals under one week between January 8 and 16, 2015, where the sum of N1.5bn was released in three tranches of N300m, N400m and N800m respectively.

This money, he said, was released from the MEA Research Library Account.

“Another document showed that N10bn was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser by the Central Bank of Nigeria on September 15, 2014.

The money was released in tranches of foreign exchange of $47m, $5m, 4m Euros and 1.6m Euros.

“A letter from the Office of the NSA in November 2014 further showed that the monies were released as ‘funds for special services.’ This particular release of N10bn was sourced in November 2014 from the N40bn released by the CBN for Corporate Social Responsibility.

Investigations showed that this money was released for the PDP presidential primaries,” he added.

Akande said the then CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, was allegedly sacked for speaking up about the over $20bn missing from oil proceeds.

However, Jonathan’s ex-aide, Reno Omokri, in his response, stated that the statement by the Vice-President’s aide had vindicated his (Omokri’s) earlier assertion that Osinbajo lied when he said three persons in the Jonathan administration stole $3bn.

Omokri, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, recalled that Osinbajo, at The Platform, a programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre, alleged that three individuals stole $3bn under the Jonathan administration.

He said that the people cited by the Vice-President were not part of the Jonathan government.