The Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has blamed the media over report that it lied about rewarding whistle-blower who gave information that led to discovery of $43.5 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million at 16, Osborne Road, Flat 7B Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The lawyer to the whistleblower last weekend said his client is yet to be paid his due reward five months after a court ordered a final forfeiture of the money.
The lawyer’s reaction came after the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, last week, while speaking at the 7th session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, said the individual who helped uncover the Ikoyi apartment money had become a millionaire. “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”
Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesperson, on a radio program “Political Platform” today explained that the recent controversy surrounding the issue is uncalled for and blamed a session of the media for quoting the EFCC Chairman out of context.
“What he (Ibrahim Magu) said basically is that the young man is a millionaire because going by the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government, the percentage which the person who gives Information gets technically makes him a millionaire.
“He made it clear that the man is yet to get the money and that the Commission is working on him to give some financial lessons since he has never managed such huge amount of money before.
“The controversy is needless, and I am glad that the Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun yesterday cleared the air that processes to get the whistle-blower rewarded is on and he would soon get his due percentage from the recovered fund.
The Federal Government of Nigeria in its fight against financial crimes and corruption, in December 2016, initiated a whistleblower policy. To that end, a bill, titled Witness Protection Programme (Establishment etc), SB 157, sponsored by Isiaka Adeleke, the Osun West APC Senator who died in April was passed by the Senate in June 2017.
The bill must however, be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President to be law.