Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister, has accused EFCC of displaying lack of understanding of the constitutional powers of a president in managing funds meant for security/intelligence agencies.
She said this in response to a report that she withdrew N1.3 billion from the account of NNPC. In a statement issued on her behalf by Clem Aguiyi, her media aide, the ex-minister said the anti-graft agency ought to seek clarity about the process for release of funds requested by security/intelligence agencies.
“On the issue in question, the minister of petroleum resources acted on the basis of the written approvals and directives given by the president, which approvals were given after written requests from the relevant security agencies were made to the president,” she said.
“At such instances, as in fact the article clearly shows, a service chief or intelligence chief, makes a written request/appeal to Mr President outlining whatever urgent and critical security needs of the nation they consider imminently paramount, at any given point in time.
If such a request received the approval of the president, the president may direct that the requested funds be drawn from a security budget maintained by NNPC, or that the funds be sourced from elsewhere.
Where the president directs the minister of petroleum resources, in writing, to make the payment from the NNPC, the minister in turn, directs the GMD NNPC in writing to execute the directive of the president.
It is not within the powers or discretion of any minister to question, flout or disregard the written directives of the president. It is therefore, impossible and implausible, for any monies under such presidential directives to be diverted during the process, at least from the standpoint of the minister.
Therefore, let it be very clear, that all funds disbursed by these banking institutions on behalf of NNPC are easily and openly traceable, and the process cannot and should not be utilised for the distortion of facts, vendetta or political mischief,” she said.