Controversy is escalating over the $1 Billion found in the account of unity bank which a whistleblower said belonged to Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA.
ALSC had on Monday published the story, adding that the whistleblower, John Okpurhe, had reported the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami to President Muhammadu Buhari over the matter. He also accused the AGF of refusing to pay him the reward as provided in the whistleblower act.
The office of the AGF however responded, saying it was not its responsibility to pay such money to the whistleblower.
However, the management of NPA has dissociated itself from anything that has to do with the alleged account.
Jatto A Adams, NPA General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, said in a statement that- “The Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority is aware of media reports based on a petition by one Mr. John Okpurhe to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The petitioner accused the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN)of allegedly refusing to reward him after exposing over $1bn supposedly hidden in an account with Unity Bank Plc and allegedly operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“The Authority hereby states that allegations that it operates such an account are untrue.
“Mr. Okpurhe, claiming to be a whistleblower, cited an account number: 0013680344 allegedly being operated by NPA but this account does not exist as evidenced by a letter from Unity Bank Plc.
“The NPA operates an account with Unity Bank Plc with account number: 0013670344 with a total sum of$1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, three Cents) as of December 4, 2019 and not $1,034,515,000.00 (One Billion, Thirty-Four Million, Five Hundred and Fifteen Thousand United State Dollars) as alleged by the petitioner.
“However, the NPA account has not been in operation since August 27, 2010 due to a Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI in AMINU IBRAHIM & CO & ANOR. VS. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY where a garnishee order was placed on it following a case, which went from the Federal High Court to the Supreme Court over a period of eight years.
“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 amount $1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, Three Cents) in favour of Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI- AMINU IBRAHIM & CO & ANOR. VS. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY on December 4th 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order absolute.
“It is therefore obvious that there is no cloned account as speculated in the alleged whistle blowing effort of Mr. Okpurhe.
“The account under discussion was frozen on the strength of a court order in August 2010, following the completion of the case, the money was consequently transferred to the judgment creditor on December 4, 2019in line with the Garnishee Order Absolute,” the Authority stated..