Corruption: 25 Jonathan’s ex-ministers, aides under probe
TVC E. At least 25 persons who served as ministers, aides or advisers to former President Goodluck Jonathan are being either investigated or prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.
Apart from ministers and aides, Jonathan’s wife, Patience, and his cousin, Azibaola Robert, who is the Managing Director of OnePlus Holdings, are also under probe for an alleged $20m and $40m fraud respectively.
Also, over 15 heads of agencies and heads of military establishments who served under Jonathan are also under probe or prosecution.
Investigations based on reports issued by the EFCC in the last 10 months, revealed that the probes range from the $15bn arms scam to the alleged disbursement of N23bn stolen oil funds and other allegations of financial impropriety.
One of such persons under probe is a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, whose accounts have been frozen while some of her properties, including a mansion worth N3.58bn in Abuja, have been seized by the EFCC.
Diezani, who claims to be suffering from cancer, has been in London since May 2015, where she is also being investigated by British anti-crime agencies.
Among other things, Diezani is accused of diverting $115m (N23bn) oil cash and distributing it to some prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.
According to EFCC sources, some of the ex-ministers who allegedly received the cash from Diezani and are now under probe include: a former Minister of State for FCT, Jumoke Akinjide (N650m); a former Minister of State for Finance, Amb. Bashir Yuguda (N450m); a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb Aminu Wali (N950m); and a former Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad (N500m).
A former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), is alleged to have disbursed about $2.1bn arms money.
Dasuki was alleged to have transferred about N4.7bn to a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro; who is also under EFCC investigation. Obanikoro has reportedly returned N100m to the EFCC.
Some others under probe include a former Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed; a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah; another former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri; a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN); a former Minister of Labour and productivity, Senator Joel Danlami; a former Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe; and a former Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau.
Apart from Dasuki, some aides under investigation or prosecution include: a former Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa; a former Principal Secretary to the President, Mr. Hassan Tukur; a former Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati and a former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Doyin Okupe.
Others include: a former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku; Jonathan’s Aide-de-Camp, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Gen. Jones Arogbofa.
The Federal Government had in June released a list of recovered loot. In a statement by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the government revealed the recoveries were made between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.
The government gave the breakdown of the loot as N78, 325,354,631.82; $185,119,584.61; £3,508,355.46 and €11, 250.
A conversion of the funds using the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the amount adds up to N115,792,760,499.
The monies were said to have been recovered by the EFCC, the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation; the ICPC and the Department of State Services.
The Muhammadu Buhari-led government added that a separate amount of cash and assets worth over N1.9tn had also been seized. However, the properties and cash are under legal contention.
The assets and cash seized under interim forfeiture totalled: $9bn, N126bn, £2.4m and €303,399.
A conversion of the worth of assets and cash seized based on the official CBN exchange rate totalled: N1,918,113,864,063.
It added, “Recoveries under Interim Forfeiture (cash and assets) during the period totalled: N126,563,481,095.43; $9,090,243,920.15; £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17.”
Attempts to reach the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as he did not respond to calls made to his telephone.