The 2015 audit report of the Federation Account has uncovered how the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, assumed the powers of the National Assembly to draw billions in cash from the joint venture cash calls account without appropriation, Premium Times reports.
Published last month by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, it showed how Mrs Alison-Madueke unilaterally approved the withdrawal of about N59.44 billion from the two accounts belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
About $292.09 million was withdrawn from the NNPC JVCC JP Morgan Chase Account in London, while another N2.47 billion was from the NNPC JVCC CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) naira account, for purposes outside the objectives the funds were provided for by the government.
Apart from the abuse of due process in getting approval for the release of the funds, the report said the release of $289.2 million (about N56.97 billion at the 2015 year end rate of N197 to $1) to the National Intelligence Agency was in “cash”.
An additional $2.89 million was charged by the CBN as commission on the transaction, bringing the total amount disbursed to $292.09 million.
The NIA had sought President Goodluck Jonathan’s approval for the release of the funds “for the procurement of 13 items of expenditure to enable NIA to respond to the nation’s mounting diverse and complex security challenges.”
However, the audit team said it found no evidence President Jonathan granted the NIA’s request, other than a minute on the memo to former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, seeking the release of the funds from the NNPC Security votes.