A civil society organization, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to act on the report of the forensic audit of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and bring anyone indicted to book.
A forensic audit, which was conducted by international firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), had indicted the NNPC and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company on the allegation of unremitted funds into the Federation Account.
In the report, which was submitted to Mr. Jonathan last Monday, the auditors asked both organisations to refund to the Federation Account “a minimum of $1.48bn”, representing about N274.54bn at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s inter-bank exchange rate of N185.50 to the dollar on Thursday.
The president, while receiving the report from Mr. Uyi Akpata, the senior partner of the consultants, said “I will give it to the professionals – the Auditor-General of the Federation, so that within the week we will get the key findings”.
But the executive chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, argued that the handing over of the audit report to the ‘professionals’ might be an attempt by the Presidency to water down the findings of the consultants.
He said, “Our fear that the Federal Government may want to tamper with the audit report arose from the body language of the Presidency to the issue of the missing oil money. It is a fact that the Federal Government was not ready to probe the missing oil money until Nigerians put pressure on them.
“Now that elections are around the corner, with many glaring factors working against the reelection of the incumbent president, another baggage of indictments on some of his co-workers may not be what the government could cope with at this time. This may compel the Federal Government to doctor the report in its favour in order to curry the favour of some Nigerians”.
Adeniran insisted that rather than hand over the report to the auditor-general, it should have been made public.