Dr. Jonathan, check out this no-one-should-be-spared corruption allegation (5): Newly-minted N2.1b takes long walk at the Mint!

N2.1 Billion Worth of Newly Printed N1,000 Notes Missing at the Nigerian Minting Company

By SHUAIB SHUAIB, Leadership

The board of directors of the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) met yesterday over the scandal that rocked the establishment where it was revealed that a whopping N2.1 billion of newly printed N1,000 notes have mysteriously gone missing.

The board meeting, chaired by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, decided to expand the investigation and audit the production of other currency denominations to ascertain the quantity of money that has actually gone missing over the years.

LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported that an acting managing director, Ahmed Bamali, had been appointed to head the Mint company while Ehi Okomoyon, who was the chief executive, was asked to proceed on indefinite leave.

A source with insider knowledge of what transpired at the meeting told LEADERSHIP that the suspension of Okoyomon as managing director on an indefinite basis until all investigations have been concluded was reaffirmed.

The head of security at the NSPMC, Emmanuel Bala, has also been asked to go on compulsory leave by the board of directors of the company. The general manager, management services, Obi Igoban is expected to write him the letter of suspension today.

LEADERSHIP also gathered that the board faulted the suspended MD for failing to disclose to it that such amounts of money had gone missing even though the company had set up an internal investigation after a mint staff was arrested in Lagos for being in possession of unnumbered bank notes.

The board meeting, which reportedly started at about 10am, did not end until 3pm. Other than the initial audit report, the board also discussed routine and budgetary issues.

The CBN had to set up its own audit team, whose findings were put to the board yesterday, and a unanimous vote affirmed that Okoyomon should continue on indefinite suspension.

Part of the CBN audit team’s investigation is to unravel why the management of the Mint company has consistently refused to place Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) in its Abuja and Lagos factories, and why other security measures were deliberately set aside.

The audit team had, however, established that the theft of printed bank notes could be traced to security lapses and security personnel who take custody of newly printed bank notes, and when there were shortages, they were never reprimanded. The entire security department is said to be directly under the supervision of MD.

LEADERSHIP also learnt that this would be the second time that Okoyomon would be going on suspension as he suffered a similar experience in 2007 for three months when Charles Soludo, who had appointed him in the first place, was CBN governor.

After seven and a half years on the job, Okoyomon has been the longest serving MD of the NSPMC, with previous chief executives spending an average of five years in office.

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2 Comments on “Dr. Jonathan, check out this no-one-should-be-spared corruption allegation (5): Newly-minted N2.1b takes long walk at the Mint!”

  1. Dele-Daramola Says:

    Shame is not in our DNA but Nigeria seem cursed with shameless leaders who continue to lead because we have not shown that “we are fed up”.

    I do not have any reason not to believe that there’s still hope. I hitherto can almost swear that our generation will never see a better Nigeria, but if it is true that a spokesman to the Federal Government could organize a press conference to defend the president’s friendship with corrupt ex-convicts when he said “there is no law in Nigeria that says that a politician that has been jailed should not be going to the Villa…”, then, one day, through his dare devil statements, he will say it boldly to us “You are all fools, what can you do”?

    Some of us are quick to forget history and when we even have the events being shoved right in our face, we selfishly choose to justify our leader’s choice as “it is our turn, let him do it”. In a civilized (I hate using that word as if Nigeria is not educated and enlightened) society, the likes of Alamieyeseigha; Lucky Igbinedion and Bode George would be dead politically. Why? All have served jailed terms for corruption charges.

    Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, sometime less than six months ago, had the United States announce that it had executed an asset forfeiture order on $401,931 in a Massachusetts brokerage fund, traceable to Alamieyeseigha. I read it was executed under “Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative”.

    Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was detained in London on charges of money laundering in 2005. At the time of his arrest, the London Metropolitan Police reportedly found about £1m in cash in his London home. Later they found a total of £1.8m ($3.2m) in cash and bank accounts. He jumped bail by allegedly disguising himself as a woman, though Alamieyeseigha denies this claim.

    On July 26, 2007, Alamieyeseigha pled guilty before a Nigerian court to six charges and was sentenced to two years in prison on each charge. Many of his assets were ordered to be forfeited to the Bayelsa State Government where he had been a governor.

    Bode George, who when he was leaving Ondo State as a Military Governor, was asked what he wanted to be remembered for,said in arrogance “a Lagos boy has passed through this place”! Nothing happened to him until years after when he had that appointment to head Nigerian Port Authority. This time, he is a Lagos boy passing through Lagos and so stole himself to stupor. “Eko gb’ole, O gb’ole (Lagos is big enough for a thief and the lazy lots) so he thought, he had forgotten that “Eko ‘o ni gba’gba k’ugba” (Lagos does not tolerate nonsense). How time has changed! He was no more a military man, so he can’t steal arrogantly anymore. Even if he can, he was unlucky with the presiding judge that decided his case, a judge that will send himself to jail if he can decide his guilt right before his eyes! He was convicted and sent to jail on many corrupt charges.

    On the day of his release, thousands of party (the ruling PDP) supporters had gathered around Kirikiri Maximum Prison as early as 7:00 a.m., notwithstanding movement restriction occasioned by the monthly environmental sanitation, waiting for the ‘Lagos Boy’, also referred to as Atoona Oodua of Ife. Many were clad in aso-ebi and customized T-Shirts emblasoned with his photograph with different inscriptions.They organized a “Thanksgiving Service” at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, in his “honor”. The roll call was Chief Obasanjo,the former president, Gbenga Daniel, a state governor, Ademola Adetokunbo, Dr Olusegun Agagu,a state governor, Olusola Obada, a deputy state governor, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Remi Adikwu Bakare, etc. Because they have no shame, they ended the day at his residence with a big party. At the party, former minister of works and housing, Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju, stated that the release of Bode George called for a big celebration, adding that the politician will start from where he stopped in his political life. “Today is a very good day for the PDP, his family and well-wishers in welcoming him back to our fold.”

    Because there is no shame, Ayo Fayose is campaigning to come back as a governor of Ekiti State where he left no good legacy as a former governor. Because there is no shame, Ibrahim Babangida still dreams of ruling Nigeria, again. Because there is no shame, we voted clueless Jonathan as president without any antecedent to fall on. Well, because there is no shame, he lied easily to us that he was once shoeless and so, he will understand out pitiable plight. Oh, did he not even say as a president, he eats twice daily when he was asked why his budget for food was in the billions? What a trivial argument! Because he has no shame, Rueben Abati is wearing his coat inside-out to justify the messianic intentions of Jonathan. Did Rueben, shamelessly not once tell Nigerians that the president doesn’t drink “ogogoro” in the morning? If he has shame, will Doyin Okupe compare Chief Awolowo with those corrupt ex-convicts? If Sanusi Lamido has shame, his resignation letter as the CBN governor, would have been approved by the president since last weekend when a staff was arrested in Lagos for being in possession of unnumbered bank notes! Was it not yesterday that it was announced that over two billion worth of newly-printed notes were missing, and yet shamelessly, he was seated as the chairman of the board to inaugurate investigative and audit committee?

    Can we be all shameless? There may be hope but it is going to be swift and sudden. I hope the shameless Okupe will intensify his reckless outpouring of thoughtless ideas as chief propagandist. Soon, Nigerians will reach a spontaneous “we are fed up”! to these shameless people unless we want the world to condemn us all to infamy as shameless people.




    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Mr. Dele-Daramola for this very incisive contribution. It will be posted so that many others can read it.

      I agree that cases of shamelessness abound and continue because we have failed to let those who rule this country know that “we are fed up.” They go from one mind-boggling looting to another and we let them get away with it “without a whimper” to borrow the words of a Western diplomat after the travesty of election that retired Obasanjo oversaw for a very ailing Yar Adua to become president in 2007.

      Rather than take our collective destiny in our own hands, we pray that God will save us by GIVING us a good leader. Well, I must have said this a zillion and one times since I veered to political musings in my newspaper essays: prayers cannot help us UNLESS we are ready to help ourselves. Nobody GIVES freedom to slaves and the oppressed; such people must TAKE it. Relying on compromised union leaders to call strikes that would be aborted by same union leaders even as rulers are thinking of caving in will not work.

      There would be hardship but there’s no free lunch as the saying goes.




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