By Our Reporter
Abuja (Precise Post) – A whistleblower , John Okupurhe , has written a letter to the President, Muhammadu Buhari , accusing the Attorney- General of the Federation , Abubakar Malami (SAN ), of refusing to pay him his reward after exposing over $1bn hidden in Unity Bank Plc .
Okpurhe said this in a letter written by his lawyer , Aliyu Lemu, dated June 22 , 2020 .
The whistleblower said the account was secretly being operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority to illegally collect revenue from vessels .
He said upon discovery , he informed the Office of the AGF in line with the whistleblower policy of the secret account and an agreement was signed .
The agreement stated that Okpurhe would be entitled to a reward if the information provided turned out credible .
The whistleblower said after playing his own part , the AGF’s office began to play games.
The letter read in part , “ Pursuant to the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government, our client approached the Office of the AGF with confidential information in respect of hidden public funds concealed within a commercial bank in Lagos contrary to the Treasury Single Account policy which requires all public revenue or funds to be domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria .
“ Our client presented the Office of the AGF with qualifying information on a cloned account with the Nigerian Ports Authority which was being used to illegally collect revenue from vessels by the signatories who are no longer in the service of the NPA .
“ Upon establishing that our client ’ s information qualified under the whistleblower policy , the Office of the AGF signed a whistleblower agreement with our client through his appointed counsel – Mamman , Maiyaki & CO.
“ The information provided by our client eventually led to the exposure of the hidden /concealed funds in Unity Bank Plc to the tune of $ 1 , 034, 515 , 000 (One billion, thirty four million , five hundred and fifteen thousand dollars only). ”
The whistleblower said the Office of the AGF had been making flimsy excuses as to why the reward was not paid .
He said the Head of Asset Management and Recovery Unit, Mrs . Ladidi Mohammed , informed him that the matter was in court and the plans had changed.
Okuprhe said when asked who filed the suit, she (Mohammed ) could not come up with the answer. Also , she could not disclose which court the matter was pending .
Powered by RubiQube Ad N He added, “ On the next day , one Ms . Bunmi who deputises for Mrs. Mohammed , called our client and asked him to come alone without a lawyer . Upon arrival , she informed our client that there was no pending matter in court on the account . ”
The whistleblower said he was told that because the money involved was huge, the Office of the AGF recommended a private firm with which he should enter into a contract to help him get the funds .
The whistleblower said upon the insistence of the AGF ’ s office, he was made to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the company to forfeit 60 per cent of his reward .
He said in a dramatic twist, his lawyer was attacked by armed policemen in his office who robbed him and made away with the original copy of the agreement signed with the AGF .
Okpurhe called on the President to quickly intervene as failure to pay him could compromise the whistleblower policy and affect public trust in the government.
The AGF ’ s Spokesman, Umar Gwandu , did not respond to calls on Saturday.
However , a top source at the AGF ’ s office said the matter was being investigated by the Department of State Services .
She said , “ The AGF has ordered that the case be investigated by the DSS so we cannot speak on the matter for now. The truth is that the whistleblower ’ s information was not accurate . He is just going about trying to intimidate us . ”