By Etuka Sunday
Federal Government yesterday denied withholding money (percentage) due to Whistleblower who helped in the recovery of $43.5 million, £27, 800 and N23.2 million (13 billion) at No. 16, Osborne Road, Flat 7B Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos.
It however, said through the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun that his name is among the next batch of Whistleblowers to be paid.
Recall, his lawyer, Mr Yakubu Galadima came out last week, threatening to sue the federal government that his client is yet to be paid.
He spoke in response to the reported claims by the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu at the 7th session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption that his client is now a Millionaire.
Magu was quoted to have said: “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. So he is under counselling on how to make use of the money and also the security implication. We don’t want anything bad to happen to him after taking delivery of his entitlement. He is a national pride.’’
However, Mrs Adeosun stated unequivocally in a statement by her Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Oluyinka Akintunde that the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower.
He said: “the Ministry has in place detailed procedures for processing payments due under the Whistleblower Policy.
“The procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.
“These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation that there are no pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes.
”It must be stated also that payments are made in monthly batches to ensure control and to protect the identity of information providers. To date, over 20 of such persons have been paid. From available records, the payment due on Ikoyi is among those being processed in the November batch, which will be released within the current month.
”The Minister reiterates that the Whistleblowing Policy of the Federal Government remains one of the current Administration’s successful initiatives and that the Government is fully committed to ensuring that all those who responded to the policy and partnered with Government in the recovery effort are paid in full and most importantly have their identity protected.
”The Whistleblower Policy was introduced in December 2016 by the Federal Government as part of the initiatives to wage war against corruption,” the statement said: