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Thursday, 30 July 2015

The ugly baboon Oshiomhole lied, only the President Approves ECA Disbursement - says Peter Obi


Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has debunked recent allegations that a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, withdrew some funds from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without authorization.

According to Obi, the release of funds from the ECA cannot be done without the approval by the president. This he said was the trend not just under former President Goodluck Jonathan, but also during the tenure of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
The former Anambra State governor said this during an interview with journalists.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, recently opened a floodgate of attacks against Okonjo-Iweala.

Oshiomhole who is fast acquiring e reputation for making wild and unsubstantiated allegations had stated that $20 billion was missing from the ECA and other sources. Thereafter, he said it was $10 billion, N720 billion and at another time he alleged that the amount was $2.1 billion. He had also accused the former minister of using $1 billion from the ECA to fund the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Elombah.com also reported last week that Governor Oshiomhole also alleged last week that an unnamed minister under the former Goodluck Jonathan administration, stole $6billion (more than N1.2 trillion).

Oshiomhole who failed to disclose the name of the minister said the details were provided last week by United States officials during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit there. Mr. Oshiomhole, who was part of the delegation, did not give the name of the minister.
But responding to questions from journalists on ECA withdrawals, Obi said: “I don’t think that was correct. Let me clarify it properly: There was never a time the National Economic Council (NEC), governors’ forum or any other body approved the release of excess crude money.

“The release of excess crude money was only and only by the express approval of the president. The practice was that the Governors’ Forum would meet and agree to appeal to the president to release funds to assist them in fulfilling their various states’ obligations. I was a state governor during the presidencies of Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan and the procedure was the same.”

The former Anambra governor also described calls for the trial of the former finance minister as unfortunate, saying some Nigerians “have this attitude of trying to pull down our best.

“The release of excess crude money was only and only by the express approval of the president. The practice was that the Governors’ Forum would meet and agree to appeal to the president to release funds to assist them in fulfilling their various states’ obligations. I was a state governor during the presidencies of Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan and the procedure was the same.”

The former Anambra governor also described calls for the trial of the former finance minister as unfortunate, saying some Nigerians “have this attitude of trying to pull down our best.

“Okonjo-Iweala is a global star and only came back to serve her country and she did that with passion. We gain nothing trying to pull her down. We did it with Aruma Otteh, but we know what she is today?” he asked.

Continuing, Obi said he had been in several meetings where the former minister woman “was almost crying,” while urging governors and other policy makers to save for the rainy day.

“She advised that proceeds from excess crude sales should be saved in the Sovereign Wealth Fund for effective management. I have read newspaper reports that it is ironic that  she spoke of a rainy day when it was already pouring.

“I personally remain indebted to her because it was from her persistent preaching on the need to save in the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) that made me incorporate savings in foreign currency - that is why  one  third of it money we left  on leaving office was in foreign currency, $156 million(N25 billion at that time). With interest now it would be about $170 million and with the current rate it is almost N40 billion,” Obi revealed.

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