Whistle-blower who blew lid on N13B stashed in Ikoyi apartment, says the EFCC lied. Says he hasn't been paid.
The EFCC may have also declared him a 'mad man' just to prevent him from receiving his financial reward.
On April 12, 2017, EFCC operatives stormed a flat on N0. 16 Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, following a tip off and found the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23M concealed neatly in a wardrobe.
A court has since ruled that the money be forfeited to the federal government given the circumstances of the find.
Ambassador Ayodele Oke who headed the government's spy organisation that would subsequently claim ownership of the money, was relieved of his position by President Buhari last month.
In December of 2016, the federal government announced that in line with its new whistle-blower policy, whistle-blowers whose revelations led to the recovery of stolen money, would be entitled to five percent of whatever is recovered.
The implication is that by the current exchange rate of N305/$, the whistle-blower whose expose led authorities to the Ikoyi billions is entitled to N657.55M.
Speaking at the ongoing 7th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, in Vienna, Austria on November 9, EFCC boss Magu told the world that the Ikoyi whistle-blower is now a very rich young man, in keeping with the federal government’s policy.
"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”, Magu said.
"So, he is under counselling on how to make good 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", he added.
However, Mr. Yakubu Galadima who is the lawyer of the whistle-blower, told Premium Times that his client hasn’t received his money for whistle-blowing, as promised by the Nigerian government.
“The truth is that this guy has not been paid a penny,” Mr. Galadima said.
Galadima says the young whistle-blower has only been kept alive thanks to handouts from his counsel.
“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,”Galadima said.
Galadima also added that the EFCC chairman’s comments were a tissue of lies.
Galadima told Premium Times how the Ikoyi whistle-blower and his friends approached him in early April to regale him with tales of how they suspected that a huge amount of money was being concealed in one of the apartments at the Osborne Towers.
“In fact, what came to their mind was to go and burgle the place since they know the security network of the house,” Mr. Galadima was quoted as saying by the online newspaper.
“I was the one that advised them that, you don’t do that because that will amount to crime. That since there is a policy of the federal government, let us exploit that avenue.
“I took them, we went to the Commission, discussed with them, they said they were going to give the boy a form to fill and that if the story turns out to be false, that the guy will go to jail. We said no problem, we undertook and we signed.
“The next day, we went to the house, all of us were all shivering thinking there was nothing inside. And then we started to discover all sorts of money in different denominations, pounds, dollars, naira. These monies were all recovered and taken to the Commission. It was counted. They brought a staff of CBN and he came and counted the money.”
There was an interim forfeiture order from the court which was soon followed by a permanent forfeiture order, after no one came forward to claim the money in 14 days.
On June 7, 2017 a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of the money to the federal government.
“The moment the final forfeiture was made, I wrote a comprehensive letter to Magu, attaching the judgement, and said court has made a final forfeiture, where is the reward and commission of the whistle-blowers?” Galadima continued.
“In fact, the letter was addressed to the Acting President, then through the Office of the Acting Chairman since the money was recovered by the EFCC. That was the first letter.
“A month later, I wrote a reminder. It was after that reminder that they said we should bring the boy to Abuja. We took the boy to Abuja, he had one on one interface for the first time with the acting president. We went together with the acting chairman.
“The acting president congratulated him for a job well done and that with the money they’ll pay him, he’s now a millionaire. We all laughed.”
Galadima says his client has now been declared a raving lunatic by the EFCC and DSS.
“The day we went to the office of the acting president, they gave him a number that he can reach them at any time. So he has been communicating with the acting president. Following the threats, they detailed some DSS operatives to be working around him,” he said.
The whistle-blower was later taken to the DSS (Department of State Services) facility at Shangisha, Lagos, and handed an apartment.
“Because the guy had always been looking forward to see(ing) this money and it wasn’t forthcoming, he started shouting. When he started shouting, they said he’s mad, that he’s having a mental problem.
“The DSS people called me and said I should come and carry my luggage. They brought him to the EFCC and abandoned him there. The EFCC people called me that I should come and carry my client.”
Galadima said when he got to the EFCC office, he was told that plans had been concluded to bundle his client to the Yaba Psychiatric hospital in Lagos for a mental eveluation.
“I said he’s not mad, that it’s because you people are holding his money that’s why he’s reacting this way. They insisted the guy is mad, that they have to take him to a psychiatric hospital, they bundled this man. I said Ok, if that’s how to prove that he’s not mad, no problem, we went to the psychiatric hospital in Yaba.
“They injected him and said they have to monitor him for a month. They monitored him for a month. The day they were going to release him, the EFCC called me again to come and carry my “critical asset.” This was a boy I never knew from Adam….. I said Ok, I went to the EFCC ....the guy said he’s Ok, there’s no problem anymore, they handed him over to me three weeks ago. Ever since then, I pay money into his account on a weekly basis for his upkeep.”
Pulse did place phone calls to acting EFCC chairman Magu and the commission’s spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren.
However, both men weren’t immediately available for comments.
The federal government's whistle-blower policy has led to discovery of hidden monies in a Kaduna bunker, a plaza in Lagos, an airport and a raft of other locations.