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CSNAC petitions EFCC over N67.2b illegal withdrawal under Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan

A coalition, Civil Society Network against Corruption (CSNAC), has petitioned the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the movement of N67.2billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a petition written by the coalition’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju and made available to journalists, the group said it is demanding a swift and thorough investigation into the allegations in order to recover the nation’s dwindling resources in the hands of unscrupulous elements and the deserved punishments meted out where necessary.

“In its publication of the 19th day of September, 2015, the Premium Times, an online newspaper reported that the former President Goodluck Jonathan, authorised the withdrawal of a whopping N67.2billion in cash money from the Central Bank of Nigeria between November 2014 and February 2015 for what was called ‘special services’ and were made in the build up to the 2015 general elections. Insiders at CBN said the huge cash were carted away in bullion vans.

“The report further states that one of the withdrawals was made through a memo which originated from the office of the former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki allegedly on Mr. Jonathan’s administration, while the second was generated by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in charge of the Federal Government’s investment in the petroleum industry.”

Furthermore, the report states ‘The first memo dated November, 2014 contained a request for the withdrawal of $47 million cash out of N10billion 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’s governor’s attention to a previous discussion and requested the release of the said funds by the bank’.

“The balance from the N10billion 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 US Dollars and Euro in cash, on behalf of the NSA’s office. “It remains unknown for what purpose the ‘special services’ fund was utilized.”

While stating that the huge withdrawals violate the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 which was signed by the ex-president, the group noted that the transaction was a brazen disregard for the rule of law and due process that should be condemned and discouraged.

“From the foregoing, this is another case of high profile corruption and money laundering that deserves a thorough investigation to identify the key players and circumstances surrounding the movements of such huge sums of money.

“One would wonder how a President who signed an important act such as the Money Laundering Act into law will now be responsible for flouting the same enactment, whether personally or through his stooges,” the petition said.

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