Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Ikoyi loot: FG denies withholding whistle-blower’s reward

The federal government has denied media reports alleging government’s refusal to make payment to the whistleblower who provided the tips that led to the recovery of funds stashed away in a property in Ikoyi, Lagos State.  

Explaining the procedure around payment of whistle blowers, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.

A statement from the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Oluyinka Akintunde, insists that the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower.

A section of the media had earlier reported plans to dilute the estimated N850million reward money entitled to the Whistle blower.  They claim that that the federal government is plotting to slash the payment to N350million or less.

According to the statement which reads in part, “The Minister wishes to state unequivocally that the Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower. The Ministry has in place detailed procedures for processing payments due under the Whistleblower Policy. 

“These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation that there are no pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes. 

“It must be stated also that payments are made in monthly batches to ensure control and to protect the identity of information providers. To date, over 20 of such persons have been paid. From available records, the payment due on Ikoyi is among those being processed in the November batch, which will be released within the current month.

The minister reiterated that the Whistleblowing Policy of the Federal Government remains one of the current Administration’s successful initiatives and that the government is fully committed to ensuring that all those who responded to the policy and partnered with government in the recovery effort are paid in full and most importantly have their identity protected.

The latest controversy follows the recovery of $43.4million, N23.3million and 27,800 Euros stashed in an apartment at the Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos on April 22, 2017. 

The Whistleblower Policy was introduced in December 2016 by the Federal Government as part of the initiatives to wage war against corruption.

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