The huge sum of money found at a residence in Ikoyi, Lagos state, was taken from Nigeria’s joint venture (JV) cash call account at the American bank, JP Morgan Chase, according to the report of the auditor-general of the federation seen by TheCable.
NNPC currently runs six JVs — with Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (EPNL) and Texaco Overseas Petroleum Company of Nigeria Unlimited (TOPCON).
Also, there was no documentation for the official release of $289,202,382 to the the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) — which claimed the $43 million found at the residence was the balance from the money it received for “covert projects”.
Beyond a request sent to President Goodluck Jonathan by Ayodele Oke — who was the NIA director-general at the time — the normal processes of approval and authorisation for the release of government funds were not followed.
In yet another revelation, the CBN would normally credit NIA’s account at the apex bank, but it was instead directed to release the money in cash to Oke, according to the audit report.
In April 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it had discovered $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million stashed away at a flat in Ikoyi after a tip-off from a whistle blower.
Following reports that the monies belonged to the NIA, TheCable subsequently reported that the agency collected $289,202,382 in cash from the account of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) at CBN in February 2015 after the postponement of the general election.
NAPIMS is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which manages the JV investments of the national oil company.
TheCable can now reveal that in the 2015 annual report of the auditor-general for the federation on the accounts of Nigeria, the auditor-general queried the “misapplication of joint venture cash calls for other purposes”.
On pages 75-76 of the volume two of the report seen by TheCable, the auditor-general wrote: “During the examination of the JVCC JP Morgan Chase Account and JVCC CBN Naira Account, it was observed that payments with amounts totaling $292,094,405.82 and N2,474,295,000.00 were made from the Joint Venture Cash call accounts for purposes outside the objectives for which the funds were provided for and thereby constituted misapplication of Federation Funds.
“These include: The payment in “Cash” of a total of $289,202,382.00 (N56,972,869,254.00 at 2015 year end rate of N197.00 to $1) to the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency. The Director General sought the President’s approval for the release of a total of $289,202,382.00 to the NIA for the procurement of 13 items of expenditure to enable NIA respond to the nation’s mounting diverse and complex security challenges.
“However, audit noted that there was no evidence of the President’s approval to the request other than a minute to the then Minister of Petroleum Resources seeking assistance from the NNPC Security votes. It was not clear from records/documents examined the authority that NNPC/NAPIMS relied on to disburse this fund.
“Audit noted that, of NNPC/NAPIMs did not make the payment to an identifiable NIA official account, but rather mandated the CBN to make the payment in Cash to the DG, in spite of government’s e-payment policy and the huge sum involved. This was highly irregular.
“Audit further noted that this payment was not budgeted for meaning that it was extra-budgetary payment.
Also, it should be noted that an amount of $2,892,023.82 was charged by CBN on the transaction as commission, thereby making the total outlay on this transaction to $292,094,405.00.”
This revelation further provides insight into the non-remittance of billions of dollars to the federation account.
Oke has now been removed by President Muhammadu Buhari.