A lawyer to the whistle-blower that helped in the recovery of $43.5 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million at No. 16 Osborne Road, Flat 7B OsborneTowers in Ikoyi, Lagos, has said his client is yet to be paid his due reward five months after a court ordered a final forfeiture of the money.
Reacting to a claim by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that his client is now a millionaire, the lawyer, Yakubu Galadima, said yesterday that several efforts to get the money have been unsuccessful.
“The truth is that this guy has not been paid a penny,” Mr Galadima said.
“In fact, from April till date, the guy has been living under my meagre resources, his security was just zero. I’ve had to relocate this guy from one place to another so nobody knows his whereabouts.”
The Nigerian government in December 2016 adopted a policy on whistleblowing to encourage citizens to report financial and other related crimes to relevant authorities.
According to the policy, whistleblowers whose revelations lead to the recovery of money are entitled to as much as five percent of the recovered sum.
Since the introduction of the policy, the government has recovered about N17billion, according to the EFCC.
On Wednesday, while speaking at the 7th session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC acting chairman, said the individual who helped uncover the Ikoyi apartment money had become a millionaire.
“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 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.”
Mr Galadima said the EFCC boss’s “position is not correct.”
According to the lawyer, the Ikoyi whistle-blower accompanied by friends had approached him in early April this year to inform him about their suspicion of a huge amount of money stashed away in one of the apartments at the Osborne Towers.
Credits | PT