Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has announced the readiness of the Federal Government to pay out a total of N421 million to whistleblowers in November as stipulated in the Whistleblower Policy.
The minister made the disclosure after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.
She revealed that the money will be paid directly to the whistleblowers who signed agreements with the government and applicable taxes will be paid directly to the state government where they live.
She said, “The total amount, which also include Osborne Road, Ikoyi is N421,330,595. This is for the November batch and it is ready for payment.
“The only condition necessary is that the money will be paid to the whistle-blower who signed the agreement, not to any company.
“If we get the court judgement, we have to wait for three months to ensure that there are no encumbrances.”
“We will also make sure that all applicable taxes are paid ahead. We will get in touch with the state government where the person is domiciled and we will pay the tax directly to the state and issue the tax receipt.
“We built in these procedures to protect the whistle-blower.”
A storm had been created over the payment of the stipulated 5% commission promised whistleblowers after one accused the government of refusing to pay what he was owed.
While speaking at the 7th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Austria, on Thursday, November 9, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, had said the whistleblower was already a millionaire by virtue of the percentage he was officially entitled to.
The unnamed whistleblower behind the discovery of $43.5 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million from an Ikoyi apartment at No. 16 Osborne Road, in Lagos responded by publicly condemning the EFCC for failing to pay him.
Through his lawyer, Yakubu Galadima, the whistleblower said the agency had instead subjected him to unfair treatment.
He also dismissed reports that he would receive N350 million reward, saying that the actual figure was N850 million.
In response to the public condemnation that trailed the development, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, clarified the government’s position, explaining that the whistleblower in question is part of the batch that would be paid in November.
She explained that failure to pay the whistleblower was a procedural one and that more than 20 people have already been paid under the provision of the policy.
Since the public spat started, another person has laid claim to being the real whistleblower and has dragged the EFCC to court, with the Federal Ministry of Finance, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), also joined as respondents in the suit.