Adamu Yusuf, a retired general, has alleged that “looted funds” denominated in US dollars and gold bars estimated to be worth N2 billion recovered through an informant suddenly disappeared without a trace in neither the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nor ministry of finance.
In an interview, Yusuf, who played active roles in the recovery of the funds believed to be proceeds from the Malabu oil block deal, said information available to him shows that the funds have been shared by some highly placed persons.
Providing insight into what transpired, Yusuf narrated that “I got very reliable information from a friend, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe that money was stashed in Flat 6, Block 1.
“Subsequently, I was also introduced to Alhaji Badamosi Gamawa, who was director of administration in CoS’ office… he introduced me to a principal to the President, to whom I said I was in custody of privileged information revealing where money was stashed in a place I mentioned earlier. I told him emphatically that the people involved who have provided the information to expose where the money was kept need to be compensated. He agreed with me totally. In fact, he promised that 20 percent would be given to them. At that time, there was no whistleblowing policy,” he said.
“After getting the information, he mobilized the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawan Daura who led the operation to recover the money. I was told it took them about three days to evacuate over the money denominated in Dollars including gold bars.
“After the successful operation, he called and thanked me. The money in question was cash in US Dollars, and gold bars. It took them precisely three days to evacuate the money. After that, further attempts to reach him to fulfill his promise of compensating those who gave the vital information became very difficult after the evacuation.
“He became incommunicado. I could not believe that somebody working with Mr Integrity could easily renege on a gentleman’s agreement willingly agreed to by both parties.”
Yusuf lamented that not only was his trust betrayed but he was also exposed to danger and in the end, there is no compensation for the provision of the privileged information and no trace of the recovered fund.
“There are witnesses that know exactly what transpired. Like I mentioned Chuma Nzeribe (former member of the House of Representatives) as one of them. Another person is Buhari Abba, a former Director of Finance with the EFCC, Alhaji Gamawa who was a Director in the CoS office, they are all directors and the other ladies,” he said.
“One of them had to flee from the country, she went on self exile, because her life was being threatened, she was kidnapped and subjected to all manner of dehumanizing acts. The most painful and shocking part of this is that after the successful operation of evacuating the stashed funds, nothing was reported as recovered because it was not reflected anywhere.”
Asked if he has made efforts to personally meet with the president, he said “Yes, I met him through the National Security Adviser, Major General Monguno (rtd), he was one of my junior colleagues. When I mentioned it to him he said what and took me to Mr President.
“I think that was his first year in office and he said he was busy with the budget and he said he would get back to me. Three and half years, four years and I have not heard from him, nobody got back to me.”
Exonerating the president of any complicity in this matter, he explained that “I know that he took ill, he was not around and there are many problems on his mind but it is on record that I had made contact with him and even left a document with him. I’m yet to get any feedback as we speak. I don’t believe that all the necessary information reached him. I also believe he will not preside over fraud.”
On the way forward, he said “my prayer is this: let an investigation be conducted and let the truth be ascertained. I am too old, too matured to stand before a court and tell a lie. There are living witnesses and the essence of this is to bring shame to the person who is carrying out these abominable acts behind Mr President and trying to tarnish his image.
“I know without any doubt and I can vouch that Mr President is a man of honour and integrity, that respect I have for him, it is all the more reason why am pursuing this for it to come to limelight.
“Apart from the money, there are also other larger implications in what has just happened. You now imagine the president with his fight against corruption and his anti-corruption drive which means that everybody sees the president as a man who has integrity, the larger implication is why would someone with such a stain be working with the president?”