The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied saying the Ikoyi whistleblower had been paid.
“Magu never said that the young man has been paid. The commission is not even directly responsible for the payment of rewards to whistle blowers,’’ a statement signed by the commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said on Saturday.
Fact-check: The EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, actually did not say the whistle-blower had been paid. As Uwujaren stated: “What Magu said at the 7th Session of the Council of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria, was that… the gentleman who provided the information that triggered the huge recovery at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi was already a millionaire based on the incentive in the whistle blower policy where information providers are entitled to between 2.5 and 5 per cent of the recovered sum.”
But here is the issue:
The informant provided information that led to the recovery of $43.5 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million from the Osborne apartment in Ikoyi on April 7. That was over 7 months ago.
The government has not kept its own part of the bargain. In fact if the whistle-blower’s lawyer is to be believed, the man has been mistreated and abandoned. That’s an unacceptable failure on the part of the government. Whether the EFCC is directly in charge of payment or not, it ought to know the status of things. And if Magu knew that the whistle-blower had not been paid and went ahead to claim that he had become a millionaire by “virtue of the percentage he is officially entitled to”, it shows a deliberate ploy by the agency and its chairman to deceive and mislead.
The fact of the mater is that at this time the whistle-blower is not a millionaire – no matter what he is entitled to – until the government acts responsibly and pays him his due.
The EFCC chairman also has to act more responsibly and avoid trying to mislead Nigerians and his foreign audience in order to look good while refusing to meet up with its commitment and take responsiblity.