In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, noted that the alleged spokespersons of the former President said that facts, as released by the Presidency with regard to corruption cases, were lies and that those of them in government restating these facts were liars.
The statement added, “They accuse Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, of lying against the former President or his government citing their involvement in the stealing of three billion dollars, while speaking recently at The Platform event on the 1st of May.
“Just for clarity, I quote the Vice President, ‘Grand corruption remains the most enduring threat to our economy. Three Billion US dollars was stolen in what was called the strategic alliance contacts in 2013, three Nigerians were responsible, today three billion dollars is one trillion Naira and our budget is 7trillion! ….’(www.yemiosinbajo.ng/how-young-people-outside-politics-are-boldly-building-the-nigerian-nation-by-vp-osinbajo/)
“Two issues emerge. First, no mention is made of the former President.
“Second, the story is not only true, it has been in the public domain for almost three years and it is the subject of criminal investigation and trials both here and in the UK.
“The spokespersons also say that the allegations of corruption against the PDP government are mere lies. For clarity, the facts are laid out as follows:
“3. The release of the sum of $289m in cash on February 25, 2015: Documents including cash vouchers indicate that the the sum of $289,202,382 was taken from the Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call Account No. 000-0000-11658-366 of the NNPC/NAPIMS with JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, USA.
“5.In another illegal disbursement, 25th August 2014, N60B in cash in tranches of N40billion and N20billion: 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 have returned parts of the loot. Some are standing trial for these offenses. These facts are in the public domain.
“6. There was yet another set of illegal fund withdrawals under one week between January 8 and 16, 2015, where the sum of N1.5 billion was released in three tranches of N300m, N400m and N800m respectively. This money was released from the MEA Research Library Account.
“7. Another document showed that N10 billion was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on September 15, 2014. The money was released in tranches of foreign exchange of $47 million, $5 million, 4 million Euros and 1.6 million 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 N10B was sourced in November 2014 from a N40 Billion CBN released funds meant for Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. Investigators showed that this money was released for the PDP Presidential Primaries.
“8. Lamido Sanusi, then CBN Governor was sacked for speaking up about the over $20billion missing from oil proceeds.
“These cases of grand corruption and open looting of public resources pauperized Nigeria and left us with little or no savings in the years when oil was selling at 100 to 114 dollars a barrel and we were producing 2.1 million barrels a day. When in 2015 oil prices went even as low as between 28 and 35 dollars a barrel and oil production fell to less than one million barrels a day we had no buffer, no savings, to tide us through.
“The amount released from CBN in cash on a single day, ie the US$289M ( N88.1bn) is enough to fund 244,000 N-Power graduates for a year, or pay for 1.2Billion school meals or complete half of Lagos-Ibadan or half of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano roads.
“The Vice President also made the point that in 2014 with oil prices as high as 120 dollars per barrel, the total capital released for Power, Works, Housing, Defence, Transport, Agriculture and Defence were just N152Billion for the whole year.
“By contrast, the Buhari administration committed N578Bn to the same Ministries in 2016 with oil prices as low as US$28 per barrel as part of the strategy to end the recession. The government was able to do more with less by stopping grand corruption and impunity.
“Recently, the Minister Coordinating the economy in that administration has written a revealing book: Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines. Who knows, perhaps her stories too are all lies!”