Thursday, 5 May 2016

Under Jonathan, Diezani was One of the Most Powerful Ministers and Untouchable – Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi 11, said that nobody that had a confrontation with the former Minister Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, survived such an effrontery. This, Sanusi said, was because the former minister was one of the most powerful ministers under Jonathan.

He said, “I knew that taking on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporaton was taking on the most powerful minister in Jonathan’s government, and nobody who had touched Diezani had survived. It was not a question of what would happen, I just didn’t care at that time. I did not want to go down in history as having seen this and kept quiet.

He said some oil companies paid taxes and royalties in oil, and the NNPC sold this oil on behalf of FIRS, meaning FIRS got the money and not necessarily the federal government.“After the first round of reconciliation, there was $29bn that was explained. And how was that explained? Crude that was shipped by NNPC did not entirely belong to NNPC.”


“No reasonable explanation for $20bn, $6bn was with NPDC that had not gotten to the federation account till date.”

Sanusi also said that Jonathan threatened him for writing a letter to inform Jonathan that $49bn was missing from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Sanusi, who served as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the former President said that he (Jonathan) would rather resign than for Sanusi to remain at the head of the apex bank.

The former CBN governor said when he wrote the letter to Jonathan in August 2013, the ex-President did nothing about it.

Sanusi said it was when former President Olusegun Obasanjo made reference to his letter four months later that Jonathan got angry and decided to take action.

He said unfortunately, Jonathan was more concerned with the fact that the letter leaked rather than sanction the people under whose watch the money went missing.

He said, “In the middle of all these, the President called me and said I should see him at 3pm. I turned up at 3pm and the entire place had been swept. There was no one apart from security services. I got to his office, it was just me and him. It was as if everybody had been asked to go.

“And so he says to me, he’s calling me because he is surprised that the letter I wrote to him got to Obasanjo, I said I’m surprised too. He said he was convinced that the letter went from the CBN to Obasanjo, and I had 24 hours to find who leaked the letter or sack somebody; the director who prepared the letter or my secretary and if I did not sack them, it was proof that I leaked the letter and therefore, I should resign.

“I said to him that I’m surprised that I’m being asked to resign for raising an alarm over missing funds and the minister in charge of the portfolio is not being asked to resign.

“From then I knew I had signed my equivalent of a death warrant. But I said I was not resigning. He got very angry and said whether you like it or not, you’re going to leave that office, I cannot continue to work with you, either you or I will leave government.”

Sanusi, however, revealed that former Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State had confessed to leaking the letter.

The former CBN governor traced the current economic crisis to the stealing and lack of accountability which characterised the Jonathan administration.

He said he had warned Jonathan that there would be inflation, unemployment and currency instability if leakages were jot plugged but sadly, nothing was done about it.


Punch


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