The dust surrounding claim by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over payment of five per cent promised the young man who blew the whistle on the massive stash of money recovered from an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos is not yet clear.
In a statement issued by the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren for the acting chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, November 9 during the ongoing 7th session of the conference of states parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Uwujaren quoted Magu as saying that the whistle blower was already a millionaire by virtue of the percentage he was officially entitled to.
“We are currently working on the young man because this is just a man who has not seen one million naira of his own before. “So, he is under counseling on how to make good use of the money and also the security implication. “We don’t want anything bad to happen to him after taking delivery of his entitlement. He is a national pride,” Magu said.
On April 7, EFCC operatives broke into a four-bedroom apartment on Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, and pulled out $43 million, £27,800 and N23 million stashed in a wardrobe.
The commission said the discovery followed an operation triggered by a whistle blower’s alert received by its Lagos office. The EFCC boss called on Nigerians who want a positive change in the country to take advantage of the whistle blowing policy announced by the government early this year.
He noted that aside from contributing to the eradication of corruption, potential whistle blowers also stood to “benefit from the illicit acquisition by the looters. So, we encourage more whistle blowers to come forward with genuine information that will lead to recoveries from looters of public treasuries. That is part of the ways we can put an end to the looting madness in the public sector,” Magu noted.
But in a swift reaction to EFCC’s statement, counsel to the unidentified whistle-blower, who gave information leading to the recovery of huge sum recovered from Flat 7B Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, Yakubu Galadima, disputed that his client has not been paid the promised five percent.
Galadima described the claim by the acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu that his client has been paid and being counseled on how to use the money as false.
Addressing journalists on the premises of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Friday, Galadima insisted that EFCC had abandoned his client, adding that the Commission was not aware of his client’s whereabouts let alone counseling him.
“The EFCC does not even know the whereabouts of my client. He is presently living from hand to mouth having been abandoned by the commission.
“We have written to the President and even to Magu himself and we have yet to get any form of response. I even sent Magu an SMS this morning debunking the allegation that my client has been paid; but as I speak, I have yet to get a response from him,” Galadima said.
On June 7, Federal High Court that sat in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of the money to the federal government. Meanwhile, Justice Saliu Saidu of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, November 9, ordered the temporary forfeiture to the federal government of flat 7B, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The judge issued the orders following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). NAIJ.com gathered that the property housed the sums of $43.3 million, £27,800, and N23 million in cash. The judge issued the orders following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).