Nigeria: Jonathan, Gusau, Alison-Madueke in N2.4billion scandal over ‘house boats’ renting for Nigerian Navy

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, his then defence minister, Aliyu Gusau, former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the instant previous Chief of Naval Workers, Usman Jubrin, an admiral, could quickly must reply questions on an alleged N2.4billion home boats lease scandal for the Nigerian Navy.

An ongoing investigation into the conducts of officers of the instant previous administration point out that Mr. Jonathan instructed Mrs. Alison-Maduekwe to launch funds from the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Company to the defence chiefs to lease 13 Home Boats to combat oil theft within the Niger Delta.

The boats have been employed for N2.Four billion, an quantity specialists consider is greater than sufficient for the nation to purchase the boats outright.

Authoritative safety sources investigating alleged monetary misdeeds of the Jonathan administration mentioned their market surveys confirmed the boats rented for that princely sum may have been acquired for retains at N100million every, bringing the full price to N1.3billion.

Our sources mentioned the choice to lease the boats was taken by the previous defence minister, Mr. Gusau, and a few of the not too long ago retired service chiefs with out searching for the recommendation of navy officers conversant in such procurement, together with these on the bottom within the Niger Delta space, who have been of the opinion that the price of renting the boats was too excessive.

The funds to purportedly lease the boat was launched at about the identical time the federal authorities controversially postponed the presidential election from February 14 to March 28.

Though the request for the undertaking was made in 2014, there was a sudden rush to make fee in mid-February this 12 months.

It isn’t nonetheless clear whether or not part of the cash was used for electioneering-related bills at a time “political cash” was ferried across the nation by some contestants.

To kick off the transaction, Mr. Gusau initiated a memo to Mr. Jonathan on October 16 final 12 months. Mr. Jonathan forwarded identical to the previous Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Within the memo, the previous defence minister argued that the deployment of the home boats, below Operation Pulo Defend of the Joint Process Power within the Niger Delta, had been useful in curbing oil theft and different felony actions.

However investigators are contesting that declare, saying there was no important drop in instances of oil theft through the interval.

The truth is, a high safety supply mentioned “the claim that the use of the house boats checkmated oil theft is just a lie because this was the same period that oil theft increased”.

When the memo reached Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s desk, she primarily agreed to the procurement, however mentioned there was no cash and requested that earlier allocations to the Nigerian Navy be spent on the undertaking.

She gave the recommendation in a letter to the chief of workers to Mr. Jonathan on January 7 this 12 months.

That was about three months after the unique memo requesting the cash was written by Mr. Gusau.

Investigators say they’re involved that even Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala didn’t question what seems an apparent waste of public funds or query the process of the renting which investigators argued was not in keeping with Nigeria’s procurement rules, even for navy spending.

By February, after the postponement of the presidential election, there was a sudden rush by officers to get funds launched for the procurement, investigators say.

On receiving the memo of the then finance minister that the prevailing allocations to the Navy be used to pay the lease, the previous president ignored the recommendation.

As a substitute he merely requested Mrs. Alison-Madueke to pay the cash to the Nigerian Navy as requested, drawing from his “Security Vote” in a secret NNPC account.

That was what he minuted on the memo on February 16 this 12 months.

On February 17, the previous president’s Senior Particular Assistant for Administration despatched a memo to the then petroleum minister conveying Mr. Jonathan’s approval for the discharge of N2.4B to the accounts of the chief of naval workers.

The NNPC subsequently paid the cash on March 12 this 12 months to the Chief of Naval Workers Operations Primary Account quantity 1010560885 at Zenith Financial institution, Maitama, with type code 057080015.

An NNPC supply revealed that the cash was debited from the NNPC Joint Enterprise Money Name Pool account quantity 023-01571-41-13-Four.

Investigators say the style of launch of the funds, which was not appropriated, is one other proof that the previous president and the previous petroleum minister in all probability stored a number of secret NNPC accounts for sundry functions with none oversight or public finance scrutiny.

“This was just a ploy to siphon public resources as it is clear that the cost of purchasing a House Boats was cheaper than the cost of renting,” one among our sources, a navy insider, mentioned.

Though Nigeria paid N2.4billion for renting the 13 home boats for a few 12 months, navy sources disclosed that the typical price of renting the boats as indicated in navy data is merely N15million a month.

“This means that not only did it make more sense to buy, even the cost of renting had been overwhelmingly inflated,” one supply mentioned.

Mr. Gusau couldn’t be reached for feedback Thursday. He didn’t reply or return a number of calls searching for remark.

Mr. Jonathan too couldn’t be reached. A spokesperson mentioned the previous president is unwilling to talk on any situation regarding his stewardship right now.

All identified phone numbers for Mrs. Alison-Madueke failed to attach Thursday.

(Premium Occasions)

Aline Niyonkuru

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