How Ex-Prez. Jonathan, Ex-minister, Diezani, Ex. CSO, Obuah bought fictitious mobile stages for $6.9m

Between himself, his Chief Security Officer and the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, former President Goodluck Jonathan spent in just one deal $6.9 million to buy three 40-feet mobile stages for use during mass public speaking events, investigations have now revealed.

Report from Federal Government investigators and security agencies reveal that this is just one of many allegedly corrupt practices frequently engaged and condoned under the presidency of the immediate past president.
Apart from the fact that the sum for the stages had been incredibly inflated according to mobile stages industry experts, government investigators say there is no evidence as yet that any stage was purchased at all.

While the cost of mobile stages ranges in size and designs, only outlandish rock star musicians in Europe and the US spend hundreds of thousands on their huge stages way bigger than the 40-feet stages. Even then, those musicians and superstars, would not pay over $2 million per stage, according to industry sources.

Further investigation shows that ‎the process of procurement of the three mobile stages was neither known to extant Nigerian laws and due process regulations; nor were the offices of the Auditor-General and the Accountant-General in the know.
3006 Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Petroleum Resources Minister
“There are no records of this purchase which was carried out late 2011,” says an authoritative source.

This purchase was carried out only few months after Dr. Jonathan won a general election for a full term after having completed the term of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

A competent source said at the centre of the fraudulent financial ring was the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. O.J. Obuah, who initiated a memo to the former president on October 17, 2011 asking for the purchase of three mobile stages.

In the memo to the former president, Obuah wrote: “My earlier discussion with Your Excellency on the security implication of your public appearances and your subsequent directive on the need to procure a secured presidential platform.”

And on the same day, without any financial advice or purchase order reviews, the former president minuted an approval of the request to buy the three stages to the then Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

In his minute, the president said “we have discussed this, please deal.” He then initialed the memo.

Right after that okay from the president, on the same October 17, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administrative Matters, Matt Aikhionbere did another letter on the strength of the president’s approval requesting the Petroleum Minister to take action on the request to purchase the stages for $6.9 million.

By the next month, an NNPC payment voucher number 3840336 was already in place revealing that the money was released. NNPC directed that the money be taken from one of its accounts in New York Citibank with sort code CITIUS 33, and Routing number 021000089.

It was first routed from the US bank to an NNPC account in Zenith Bank account number 5000026593, Maitama branch in Abuja, from where the money was sent to a private account. The sum of $6.9 million was then credited to a Sterling Bank account of one J. Marine Logistics Limited, Abuja, a company investigators say was registered by Obuah.

The CSO himself, according to investigators, has not been able to show proof of the purchase and his memo irked his bosses at the SSS that he took the initiative to write requesting for the stages, an action which officials say was way above his pay grade.
Said an official of one of the security agencies conducting the investigation, “it is not the duty or responsibility of the CSO to make the determination on that purchase. He was meant to have informed the service, which will then review the situation and act accordingly.”

The source continued: “What has happened here is that the former president and the former minister with the collusion of the CSO decided to dip their hands into the public till and steal public funds for other purposes since no one has found the stages as we speak.”

The source said specifically that the $6.9 million in question was promptly paid on Nov. 29, 2011 into a private account belonging to the former CSO.

“The former president approved the procurement of the mobile platforms without due process and bye-passing the Procurement Act, neither was there an appropriation in the 2011 budget for such facility,” investigators disclosed over the weekend.

The source added that neither the former minister of Finance nor the Director-General of the Budget Office was aware of the deal.
Investigators say this is just one of the several instances where the Jonathan administration used secret NNPC accounts to fund many questionable projects and for alleged personal financial aggrandizements.

Already the CSO has been questioned over his role and activities in the Jonathan presidency, he was arrested, detained, questioned and later released.

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