Former government officials stole Nigeria dry. The latest revelation should leave you fuming if you care enough
Diezani was Petroleum Resources Minister during the Goodluck Jonathan era.
No kidding--$153.3M is a staggering amount of money.
The alleged heist also laid bare the corrupt banking system we run in Nigeria.
Four banks aided Diezani in siphoning Nigeria's money from the state-run Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), investigators say.
According to documents filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in court, the culprits were Sterling Bank, First Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank.
EFCC investigator, Moses Awolusi, alleged that Diezani and a former Fidelity bank Managing Director, Nnamdi Okonkwo, were in constant communication throughout the period of the grand larceny.
Out of the stolen amount, about N23B was domiciled with Sterling Bank Plc, N9B with First Bank Plc and about $5M with Access Bank Plc.
Here's the News Agency of Nigeria's (NAN) account of events: Sometime in December 2014, Diezani invited Okonkwo to her office where they hatched the plan of how the cash would be moved from NNPC to Okonkwo for safe-keeping.
According to him, Diezani instructed Okonkwo to ensure that the money was “neither credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms” of Fidelity Bank.
Awolusi said that Okonkwo accepted and implemented the deal leading to the movement of the sums from NNPC to Fidelity Bank.
He said that two former Group Executive Directors of Finance and Account of NNPC helped Diezani to move the cash from NNPC Abuja to the headquarters of Fidelity Bank in Lagos.
Ostensibly, it was from Fidelity Bank that Access, Sterling and First Banks got their share of the booty.
Fidelity Bank was the clearing house.
The plan was hatched in 2014--the year Jonathan was preparing for his re-election and when all cash was going to come in handy; the year Diezani knew she had to save for her retirement from public service if push came to shove.
Everyone knew that under Jonathan and the administrations before his, our banks aided and abetted corruption like crazy, but this story adds another layer to the extent of it all.
At the current exchange rate of N480 to the dollar, $153.3M stands at some N73, 440,000,000B.
From one individual.
Imagine how much was stolen from state coffers under Jonathan.
Elsewhere, 100 electoral officers are about to be dismissed after it was found that Diezani bribed them to the tune of N23B.
The EFCC has also been seizing mansions and choice property scattered from Abuja to Lagos with Diezani's name on them.
How did she do it? It was simple.
As Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani had the keys to the nation's economy under Jonathan. She enjoyed the former President's trust and was granted unfettered access to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Call her the blue-eyed babe under Jonathan. Eye-candy, eyelash-fluttering Diezani.
Recall how then CBN boss Sanusi Lamido Sanusi couldn't stomach it anymore and had to cry out about some missing $20B of oil proceeds?
He got sacked for whistleblowing.
Diezani held Jonathan's 'mumu button' like no one will ever do and depressed it whenever she deemed it necessary. She was Lord of the manor and manor of the Lord.
ALSO READ: How Diezani shared N23B to INEC officials
You should be pissed. Very pissed.
Pissed because $153.3M is only a tip of the iceberg. Much more was stolen. The anti-graft agency has been in various courts for two years as it tries to prove that billions of Naira it has traced through its investigations, belong to you and not to light fingered former government officials.
You should be pissed because this has nothing to do with politics or partisanship. It's your money in their bank accounts and whether you are PDP or APC, you are poorer today because these guys stole what belongs to you. The elite was united in corruption against you.
You should be angry because these revelations are coming at a time when State governments can't pay salaries, when the sums being stolen are enough to fund the annual budget of the country and when Nigeria is in a recession because your savings were stolen and the excess crude oil account was stripped bare.
Are you angry yet?
Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court has ordered that the money be forfeited. The anti-graft agency will thereafter use these monies as exhibits as it tries to nail Diezani and all those who were accessories to the crime (if successfully proven to be one in courts).
The legal battle is far from over.
At the moment, Diezani is holed up in the UK, wondering what will come next for her.
She really didn't need to steal. She hails from a family of means and was calling the shots at oil giant Shell long before we got out of High School. Silver spoon was Diezani.
But you know what they say about money? It's never enough.
Certainly, this is not the time to 'LIVE' Diezani alone; cancer or not. The truth is still out there.