In the build up to the 2015 general elections, the former President Goodluck Jonathan authorised the withdrawal of a whopping N67.2 billion in cash money from the Central Bank of Nigeria between November 2014 and February 2015 for “special services,” accordingmto reports from the PREMIUM TIMES.
Sources said even more ‘curious’ large withdrawals were made from the bank during the period but we were unable to obtain documents to authenticate the claims.
But highly classified documents obtained by this newspaper, Friday, showed that at least N67.2 billion were withdrawn in cash from the banks in two tranches.
Insiders at the CBN said the huge cash were carted away in bullion vans.
One of the withdrawals was made through a memo which originated from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, allegedly based on Mr. Jonathan’s instruction.
The second memo was generated by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
NAPIMS is in charge of the Federal Government’s investments in the petroleum industry.
The first memo, dated November 2014, contained a request for the withdrawal of $47 million cash out of N10 billion earmarked for release for an unbudgeted “special services”.
In the memo with reference number: NSA/366/S and titled: “Request for Funds for Special Services,” an official from Mr. Dasuki’s office had drawn the CBN governor’s attention to a previous discussion and requested the release of the said funds by the bank.
The balance from the N10 billion, the memo directed, was to be paid out in Euro, while a certain Director of Finance and Administration with the name S.A Salisu, was authorised to sign and receive the haul of U.S dollars and Euro in cash, on behalf of the NSA’s office.
“Further to our discussion, you are pleased requested to provide the sum of forty seven million United States Dollars (USD47, 000,000.00) cash out of the Ten Billion Naira (N10, 000,000,000.00) and the balance in Euro to this office for special services,” the memo read in part.
“Mr. S. A. Salisu, director finance and administration is, hereby authorised to sign and collect the amount. Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem,” the memo said.
It remains unknown what the “special services”, for which the funds were removed, are.
Our sources claim they were spent on “electioneering-related” matters. But that could not be independently verified Saturday.
The second memo, raised by NAPIMS, and dated February 25, 2015 conveyed an instruction to the director, Banking and Payment System Department of the CBN to urgently pay in cash, the sum of $289,202,382 (N57.2 billion) to the National Intelligence Agency, NIA.
“Upon receipt of this mandate, please pay urgently the under-listed beneficiary the cash amount indicated,” the memo said.
“Please debit CBN/JVCC Foreign Account No. 000000011658360 with the JP Morgan Chase, New York… and advise (sic) as soon as the payment is made.”.
The payment instruction in favour of the NIA was signed by one Okonkwo Godwin, General Manager, Finance, NAPIMS, with staff No. 18526, on February 25, 2015.
But sources from the CBN, who cannot be named because they were not authorised to speak on the issue said the funds were taken away at night with bullion vans under heavy security cover.
When contacted, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Mu’azu, declined comment on the report.
Mr. Mu’azu said he did not have authority to speak to the media about the status of the bank customers’ transaction details.
However, a senior official, who asked not to be named, as he had no permission to speak on the issue in his official capacity, said the bank has details of the transaction.
“My brother, the report is true,” he told PREMIUM TIMES. “Every detail is on point. But, since they claimed the withdrawal was for security services, anything could have been referred to as such. Nobody knows.”
Mr. Jonathan could not be reached for comments. One of his former spokespersons said he no longer speak for the former President. Another said he was busy and could not speak on the matter.
They all requested anonymity, saying they don’t want to be associated with issues they know nothing about.
The withdrawals of the huge cash is a violation of Nigeria’s Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, which the former president Mr. Jonathan personally assented to.
According to Part 1, Section 1 of the law, “No person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding- (a) N5,000,000.00 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or (b)N10,000,000.00 or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate.”
Section 16 (d) of the Acts says anyone who makes or accepts cash payments exceeding the amount authorized under this Act shall upon conviction be liable to a forfeiture of 25% of the excess above the limits placed in section 1 of the Act.
#EndSARS: Enugu Govt Adjusts 24-Hour Curfew
Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the residents of the State.
Recall that the Governor had declared curfew in Enugu East, Enugu North, and Enugu South Local Government Areas of the state following an outbreak of violence in those areas.
However, following the return of relative calm and hardship being suffered by residents of the affected areas, the Governor adjusted the curfew.
This was announced in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, on Saturday.
“In its place, a 13-hour curfew from 6 pm to 7 am daily, is imposed in Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South Local Government Areas, with effect from 6 pm on Sunday, 25th October 2020 until further notice.”
Fani-Kayode Condemns Video Asking Igbo Indigenes To Leave Yorubaland
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has condemned the threat of violence on Igbo indigenes in Yorubaland.
In a video circulating on social media, Grandson Adeyinka, a UK-based Nigerian, called on Igbo indigenes to leave south-west states.
In the video, Adeyinka issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Igbo, warning that those who refuse to leave will be dealt with.
Reacting to the video, the former Minister distanced the Yoruba people from the statement, urging the Igbo people in Lagos to stand firm and stand their ground.
..The sons of Oduduwa will stand by you. The SW is safe for all non-indegenees. We are a peaceful, loving, liberal, kind & accommodating people. We are not animals & thugs. We do not give our compatriots ultimatums, throw them out of our territory or threaten them with violence.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) October 24, 2020
El-Rufai Imposes 24-hour Curfew On Seven Communities In Kaduna
Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has declared a 24-hour curfew in some communities in Kaduna South and Chikun Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan announced this is a statement on Saturday.
Although the reason for the restriction was not stated, it follows the looting of warehouses – where COVID-19 palliatives were reportedly stored by the government – by residents.
Residents were said to have trooped to Gwari Avenue where they discovered a warehouse and immediately forced it open and carted away food items.
Reacting to the development, the government directed security agencies involved to arrest and prosecute anyone found violating the curfew, and those responsible for the breakdown of law and order as well as looting and destroying properties.
The affected communities include Barnawa, Kakuri, and Television in Kaduna South LGA, and Maraban Rido, Sabon Tasha, Narayi, and Ungwan Romi of Chikun LGA.
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