A former Accountant-General of the Federation (AG-F), Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla, and an ex-Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Inde Dikko, have reportedly refunded N6.3 billion and N1.9 billion respectively.
Both public officers refunded the N8billion to the coffers of the Federal Government to avoid being prosecuted.
Otunla was the AG-F between 2011 and 2015; while Dikko was the Customs Comptroller General between 2009 and 2015.
While Otunla returned N6,392,000,000.00; the former Customs CG returned N1,596,000,000.00 (naira equivalent of $8million; computed at N197 to a United States dollar the prevailing exchange rate at the time).
Details of the deals leading to the refunds are contained in documents Otunla and Dikko filed in court; to back up the suits they instituted against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
In the suits, they queried the decision of the anti-graft agencies to insist on prosecuting them on corruption charges; after they were told to make refunds in lieu of prosecution.
Otunla claimed that the now-suspended acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, promised him that he would not be prosecuted; should he return funds traced to him; companies linked to him; and also his associates.
He stated that sometime in 2015, he was invited by a team of EFCC investigators; probing the alleged diversion of funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA); and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN) pension funds.
On his part, Dikko said he entered an agreement with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and also Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami “to return $8m or its equivalent in naira atN197 to a dollar.”
Dikko explained, in one of the court documents, that shortly after he retired; he entered in an agreement on May 25, 2016, with the AGF and the Director-General of the State Security Service.
The former Customs boss said he met with the two Federal Government’s representatives at the International Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, during which Malami directed him “to return $8m or its equivalent in naira, at N197 to a dollar so as to prevent the Federal Government of Nigeria from prosecuting me.”
Dikko said he fully complied with the directive of the AGF by paying the money in its naira equivalent.
In a recent judgment, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja agreed with Dikko that he could no longer be prosecuted by the ICPC in view of the agreement with the AGF.