23 January 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have reportedly uncovered fresh $1.3 billion withdrawal from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The fund was allegedly obtained with approval from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan without an appropriation from the National Assembly or approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Former Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was also said to have been sidelined in the matter.
The fund was allegedly obtained to tackle kidnapping and other security threats in the Niger Delta region of the country.
A senior official of the NNPC under Alison-Madueke, Mr. Bernard Otti, is reportedly assisting EFCC detectives with documents for their investigation into the matter.
A local newspaper quoted an undisclosed source in the EFCC as saying, “Investigation so far confirmed the withdrawal of the $1.3 billion from some accounts of the NNPC abroad. But there are sufficient clues of suspected money laundering by the ex-Ministers of Petroleum Resources and some government agencies who used ONSA as a platform.”
The source added that, “There is no evidence of projects executed with the cash. Instead, some of the cash were wired into a few banks by these individuals.
“We have also grilled a former Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts of NNPC, Mr. Bernard Otti who has cooperated with our investigators by making necessary documents available. We will keep you posted on this case.”