Posted by By Chris Ochayi on
ABUJA—THE Presidency has declared that the recent reports of $4.6 million fraud allegedly uncovered in the Foreign Affairs Ministry by the new Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaela.....
ABUJA—THE Presidency has declared that the recent reports of $4.6 million fraud allegedly uncovered in the Foreign Affairs Ministry by the new Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaela are not correct.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Uffot Ekaette, reacting to the reports yesterday in a statement expressed deep regret that the claim was mischievously publicized to imply a cover-up in the Ministry until the new minister arrived.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s allegations, the SGF, said has unfortunately reflected negatively on the conduct and integrity of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olu Adeniji.
His words: “the attention of Mr. President has been drawn to the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the issues relating to the Ministry and Nigerian Missions abroad. Many of the problems she (Okonjo-Iweala) mentioned being longstanding, have been gradually addressed as budgetary allocations permitted”.
”However, her reference to the US$4.6 Million transfer to an international organisation, namely the international Sea-bed Authority, has been mischievously publicized to imply a cover-up in the Ministry until she discovered it. This is incorrect. Nevertheless, it has unfortunately been made to reflect negatively on the conduct and integrity of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olu Adeniji”.
The sum of US$ 4.6 million was in March 2006 sent to the international Sea-bed Authority by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs instead of $22,000.
The Head of the Authority alerted the Nigerian High Commissioner in Jamaica of the excessive amount sent to the Authority and the High Commissioner in turn alerted the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President.
The High Commissioner was instructed to take possession of the money while investigation by the EFCC was ordered. The EFCC initially detained the officers involved and continued with the investigation”, it stated.
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