Ikoyi cash: Halt payment for now, whistle-blowers urge Finance minister

More whistle-blowers have come out of the woodwork, demanding Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, stop payment to those pencilled down to receive five per cent commission from the recovery of $43.4 million, N23.3 million and 27,800 Euros at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The EFCC recovered the money, in an apartment, following a tip-off in April.
The new petitioners, who were not named, had alleged in a correspondence to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister, Shehu Abubakar Malami, that they were short-changed.
In a November 15, 2017 letter addressed to Adeosun, the petitioners, through their lawyers, Hammart and Co (Tafida Chambers), reminded the minister of an earlier petition written to the AGF and Justice Minister, Malami, since September.
The petitioners said although no action has been taken on the matter, the silence of top government officials run counter to President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s stance on corruption .
In the letter sighted by PRNigeria, in Abuja, the whistle-blowers requested the minister to put on hold the earlier plan to pay the wrong whistle-blowers until their complaints have been thoroughly investigated and justice done.
“It is, therefore, the brief of our clients that we request you to hold on payment of the whistleblowers’ fee/entitlement until our clients’ complaints is sorted out. That considering the vital role our client played in exposing the whereabouts of the recovered money, our client cannot be sidelined or denied his entitlement. Doing so will amount to injustice to our client,” the chambers wrote.
Last week, reports of alleged shortchange of the original whistle-blower and the petition written to the AGF surfaced.
In the August 24, 2017 petition, addressed to the AGF, No Limit Legal Partners, on behalf of Abdulmumin Musa, Mr Stephen Sunday and Mr Bala Usman told the AGF that his clients, by the workings of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have shortchanged the whistleblowers by bringing others who were not arrowheads of the whistle blowing.
The solicitors noted in the petition that, “our clients informed us sometime in December 2016 that three of them voluntarily walked into the EFCC office at 15A, Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Lagos and gave vital information which led to the recovery of over N13 billion at the Ikoyi Towers, Lagos.”
The legal practitioners further told the AGF that “upon subsequent visit to give detailed information, as required by the commission, to raid the tower, they were told if the operation was successful, five per cent of the amount recovered will be their take-home, within 72 hours of recovery. They were also cautioned that if the information happened to be false, then, they would definitely be in trouble; which the three mentioned above accepted because they were sure of their facts.