It is no news that corruption and other fraudulent practices have become the order of the day in Nigeria with most government officials brazenly breaching laws and taking matters into their hands as a handful of them have overtime failed to comply with agreements and uphold oaths they swore to before assuming office.
One of such persons this news medium gathered is the erstwhile Director of the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) Director, Mr. George Osahon who according to reports approved withdrawals up to the tune of 20,496,196,424,375 (Twenty Trillion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Six Billion, One Hundred and Ninety-Six Million, Four Hundred and Twenty-Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Naira) with no explanation.
Despite the provisions of Section 162(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which directs all government revenues to be paid into the Federation Account, investigations reveal that the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) acting on the orders of its former boss went contrary to this by engaging in the unauthorized movement of funds from its revenue and allegedly diverting same to private coffers.
It was also uncovered that N119,372,700,000.00 (One Hundred and Nineteen Billion, Three Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) was withdrawn from the Signature Bonus Account domiciled with JP Morgan Chase Bank in three tranches: July 7th,2014- N41,163,000,000 (Forty-One Billion, One Hundred and Sixty Three Million Naira), February 19th, 2015- N16,465,200,000 (Sixteen Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-Five Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira); and May 8th, 2015- N61,744,500,000 (Sixty-One Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira), via Standard Chartered Bank to First Bank Nigeria, in favor of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) with the description, “BEING FUNDS RELEASED TO PTDF FOR EXECUTION OF CRITICAL PROJECT”. The project we learned was not recognized in the books of the Department.
The Director of the Department is to adhere to the provisions of the law and not to elude the laid down procedures guiding the movement of revenues generated by the MDAs to the CRF.
Despite being mandated to explain the withdrawals from the Bonus Account as contained in the Audit Report, it is yet to be ascertained if the new management which took over a few months later successfully attempted to recover the funds.