A former President of Nigeria, Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan has responded to a statement credited to the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) that Nigeria lost $32 billion to corruption under his administration.
The response which was made through his former aide on Special Adviser on New Media, Reno Omokri, said that the allegation was spread by a network owned by a top member of the All Progressives Congress who are still brooding over the successful convention held by the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja.
Omokri stated that the United Kindom does not meddle in the internal affair of nations in which she operates.
Omokri said “The U.K. Department For International Development DID NOT Make Any Allegations Against the Jonathan Administration
“My attention has been drawn to a story emanating from a notorious opposition newspaper linked to a prominent member of the All Progressive Congress, alleging that the U.K. Department For International Development, DFID, claimed that $32 billion was lost to corruption during the Jonathan administration.
“Let me say that this alleged claim by the DFID is false and did not emanate from the U.K. Department For International Development.
“First of all, the U.K. Department For International Development DOES NOT meddle in the internal affairs of nations in which she operates. Secondly, DFID is not an auditing or law enforcement body and is neither equipped nor qualified to make such judgments.
“This false news was planted in the media by persons who were very disturbed with the highly successful convention of the Peoples Democratic Party this past weekend (December 9-10, 2017), whereas the All Progressives Congress has not been able to hold its convention since 2014 even though its own constitution mandates that such conventions must be held every two years.”
Comparing the corruption index during the last administration and the current one, Reno said “On the issue of corruption, permit me to state the obvious, which is that Nigeria made her best improvement in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in 2014 when we moved 8 places forward from 144 in 2013 to 136 in 2014.
“This was due to the many technologically driven anti-corruption efforts of the Jonathan administration including the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which weeded out 50,000 ghost workers from the payroll of the Federal Government and the e-wallet system of fertilizer distribution which eliminated the corruption in the fertilizer distribution regime.
“Also, the dismissal, and declaration of the arrest of the notorious pension thief, Abdulrasheed Maina, by the Jonathan government, played a role in this improvement.
“Since Jonathan left office, Nigeria has not made any improvements in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.
Indeed, how could we, when Maina has been recalled, reinstated and given double promotion (according to Maina he was recalled after the President directed the AGF to visit him in Dubai). Maina was even bold enough to print gubernatorial posters to contest elections under Buhari.
“This is not forgetting the $25 billion worth of contracts that was awarded without due process at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation under the President as minister of petroleum.
“Just in case Nigerians have forgotten, the GMD of the NNPC awarded $25 billion worth of contracts without due process. To put this in perspective, that money can pay 1 million Nigerians minimum wage of ₦18,000 for 5 years and can educate 1 million Nigerians from nursery school to post graduate level.
“Nigerians have also clearly seen that this administration gives handcuffs to its opponents, hence an Anyim, suspected of corruption was arrested, but gives handouts to its cronies, hence a Babachir Lawal, confirmed to have looted, is allowed to go scot free and even permitted to nominate his cousin to succeed him and cover his tracks.
“In conclusion, the U.K. has a freedom of information policy and Journalists can approach the K. Department For International Development, to confirm that they never made such false allegations against the Jonathan administration.”