*Writes Buhari, denies receiving commission
*Disputes EFCC figures N17billion not N13billion
Chai! A new controversy brews the declaration by the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, that the man who blew the whistle that led to the discovery of over N15billion, in various currencies inside a flat at Osborne Towers in Lagos, is now a millionaire.
Few hours after declaring the man has become a millionaire, his lawyers charged raising fresh concerns over the claim. The lawyers also disputed the N13billion official EFCC figure, claiming that the actual recovered sum was N17billion.
When the story broke in April 2017, we had put the figure of the recovery at N15billion.
According to the lawyer, Yakubu Galadima Esq, who has also written a Letter of Complaint to President Muhammadu Buhari, the EFCC has refused to pay or communicate with the whistle-blower since the money was discovered.
“He is yet to be paid his legitimate commission,” he said.
Galadima added: “The claim by the anti-graft Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in Vienna, Austria, two days ago that the whistle-blower is now a millionaire after the commission has redeemed its pledge is an attempt to mislead the whole world.”
Galadima said that the EFCC lied by saying the whistle-blower had been paid a whooping sum of N325million being 2.5% of the $43million, N23.2million and £27,800 recovered from a flat at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi.
Galadima insisted that the actual total sum recovered in the apartment was N17billion contrary to EFCC’s N13 billion claim. Question is who helped the government to keep the balance of N4billion?
He said, “The whistle-blower is still in hiding and he has not received a Kobo contrary to reports of the EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, in Austria.
“My clients want to state in clear terms that the EFCC under-declared the loot found in the Ikoyi apartment and that the total money reported was N17billion and not N13billion declared.
“The total sum counted in a transparent manner was N17billion. The Central Bank of Nigeria officials were there with their counting machines. The monies counted, recorded and marked as exhibit in the presence of stakeholders was N17billion and not N13billion as it is being claimed by the EFCC.
“The whistle-blower is being fed and clothed by me. He is in hideout and the EFCC does not know his whereabouts and has not made any correspondence to him up till this moment.
“We had written letters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on this issue but no concrete action has been taken to reward the whistle blowers.
“We are using this opportunity to debunk the claim of Magu that the whistle-blower is now a millionaire. We want to tell the whole world that he is in penury. The EFCC neither rewarded nor fed him. As at today we have not received any communication from them since the discovery.”
Galadima lamented that his client was unjustly treated by the anti-graft agency, as he was used and dumped after the commission was led to the Ikoyi apartment.
He said that he advised his client to do the right thing, when he was approached by the client that there was a large sum of monies running into billions in the apartment, that they would enter the place and collect their own.
He said that he had urged the whistle-blower to follow the path of law through the policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He noted that the continuous denial of whistle-blowers their reward would impact negatively on the anti corruption war of the government.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, in Lagos, has ordered the temporary forfeiture of Flat 7B Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 were discovered on 12th April.
Justice Saliu Saidu ordered the forfeiture of the flat to the Federal Government following an ex parte application by the EFCC.
The EFCC said it found out that Mrs Folashade Oke, the wife of the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Olusola Oke, made a cash payment of $1.658million for the purchase of the flat between 25th August and 3rd September, 2015.
She allegedly purchased the property in the name of a company, Chobe Ventures Limited, to which she and her son, Master Ayodele Oke Junior, were directors.
The EFCC stated that Mrs. Oke made the cash payment in tranches of $700,000, $650,000 and $353,700 to a Bureau de Change company, Sulah Petroleum and Gas Limited, which later converted the sums into N360,000,000 and subsequently paid it to one Fine and Country Limited for the purchase of the property.
The judge adjourned the matter till 30th November for anyone to show cause why the interim order should not be made final.