Those who think that whistle blowing is still a lucrative business in Nigeria may have to do a rethink. This is because it is not all government agencies or Corporate Organisations that whistle blowers could easily take on in order to squeeze out free cash from them and think of succeeding. The reason is very simpmple: they have no skeleton in their cupboard.
Take for instance, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, which one John Okupurhe, a whistle blower, who many believe may have had dealings with the Authority in the past and knew how information could be used to shake the Management and extract money from the Authority with ease. The whistle blower may have met a wrong person in the person of Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, the Managing Director, who was not ready to bow to such blackmails.
It was therefore , not very surprising that when information leaked out the Okupurhe, had petitioned Malam Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Attorney General of Nigeria, and minister of Jutice over the alleged $1 billion secret account being operated in Unity Bank plc, she ‘’ laughed’’. She knew it was a bad market for Okpurhre and his sponsors .
The whistle blower had expected that once the petition had reached the office of AMalami, it would facilitate the release of his Compensation. Armed with the information that was said to have exposed the Authority dirty deals of operating a $1 billion secret account in, Unity Bank plc, in flagrance violation of the government’s Treasury Single Account policy, he was disappointed that it was given the urgency it deserves.
He was said to have told those that cares to listen that the Authourity used the secret account ‘’to illegally collect revenue from vessels by the signatories who were no longer in their service of the NPA’’. He was determined to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.
The minister, may have dampened his enthusiasm of getting a Compensation from the ministry when he made it clear to him that Compensations are only paid in cases leading to the recovery of lost government funds.O
He may have known that the game is up that he sought the support of Civil Society Organisations in the south-south geo political region in order to force the ministry of Justice pay him his Compensation but that was how far the group could go.
Okupurhe may have known that he has lost the battle that he was said to have also engaged the services of the south-south Anti-Corruption Watchdog , in Edo state to fight for his Compensation over the exposed alleged NPA, $1 billion alleged secret account operated by NPA IN unity Bank plc. Last Monday, the group were said to have threatened ‘’to expose those behind the $1 billion NPA , account, in order to force the minister of Justice to pay the whistle blower his Compensation.
Aggrieved that Malami, the minister of Justice has failed to pay his Cmpensation as allowed by Law, he may have been have been advised by his Lawyers to take his case to President Muhammadu Buhari . This is evident going by his petition to the Katsina state brn Nigerian President, accusing the minister of Justice of refusing to reward him for giving out information about a $1 billion cloned account being operated by NPA, a government agency, in Unity Bank plc.
The whistle blower’s petitions to the minister over the alleged $1 billion secret account may have informed why the Hajia Usman, the agency Managing Director opened up to clear the air on the said account. Acting on the mandate of the Managing Director, Jatto Adams, an Engineer and General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, admitted that that the agency Authority had an account with Unity bank plc but currently inactive due to the Court case hanging over it.
Jatto, who gave the agency Unity bank plc, account number as 0013670344, disclosed that ‘’it has a total sum of$1,057,772,.03 as at December 4, 2019 which basically contradicts the figure being bandied about the whistle blower at $1,034,515,000.00.
Maritime watchers believe that the whistle blower could not have entered into the bank records to sccop out such an embarrassing document without an insider’s support . This is where Oluwatomi Somefun, the Maank Managing Director, may have to stand on her ground to ensure a total overhaul of the Operational Department of the bank, from the branches to the bank headquarters to avoid a future occurrence.
Giving an insider information on the alleged$1 billion account, the NPA, spokesperson, disclosed that the account had been suspended since August 27,2010, due to a suit No: HC/L/CS/582/2010 Garnishee Order NISI in Aminu Ibrahim & Co & ANOR vs Nigerian Ports Authrity. He had said that the garnishee order on the account follows a case, which went from the Federal High Court to the Supreme Court over a period of eight years as the account was finally frozen o completion of the case.
He noted that’’ upon the determination of the case at the Supreme Court, the Judgment Creditors continued with the garnishee process which resulted in the credit of the account $1,057,772.03, in favour of suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 Gnarshee Order NISI-Aminu Ibrahim & Co & ANOR. vs NPA on December 4, 2019 in line with the the Gnarshee Order absolute’’.