The ongoing probe of the immediate past administration by President Muhammadu Buhari is to beam its searchlight on the alleged purchase of three mobile stages, costing $6.9m, by former President Goodluck Jonathan and two of his officials, a Presidency source has said.
According to a document, which was obtained from the Presidency on Saturday, the deal, which is now a subject of investigation, was allegedly carried out by Jonathan; his Chief Security Officer, Mr. Gordon Obuah; and former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The fund was said to have been withdrawn from one of the numerous accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The $6.9m (about N1.37bn) was said to have been withdrawn for the purpose of buying three pieces of 40-feet mobile stages for use by Jonathan during mass public speaking events.
According to the document, apart from the fact that the sum for the stages was “incredibly inflated”, there is currently no evidence that the stages were bought since the money was withdrawn.
The document read, “While the cost of mobile stages ranges in sizes 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 $2m per stage, according to industry sources.
“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, according to the investigators.”
It added that the phony purchase was carried out late 2011, a few months after Jonathan won the presidential election for a full term after having completed the term of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Jonathan’s CSO was said to have initiated a memo to the former President on October 17, 2011, asking for the purchase of three mobile stages.
Story Source: www.punchng.com
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