Former governor of Rivers state and current minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has admitted that he got a letter from the then Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and that he used the letter to campaign against the high level corruption that was rowing in the country then.
In a statement explaining his involvement in a letter forwarded to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, challenging the non-remittance of $49.8 billion oil windfall to the federation account.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Amaechi strongly condemned reports in the media, which indicated that he “surreptitiously and clandestinely” leaked the letter, Amaechi said that when he got the letter, he approached Sanusi Lamido and made it abundantly clear to him that the bleeding of the nation had to be stopped, and that “all non-remitted funds remitted and that he was going to use the letter to do whatever is in the best interest of the nation and Nigerians.”
The statement which was issued today, Thursday by his media aide said that Amaechi got the letter from the person he called: “a concerned and patriotic Nigerian, who felt sufficiently troubled with what was happening.”
The statement said that the said letter was given to Amaechi in his capacity as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), saying: “like Amaechi, we should appreciate that concerned Nigerian’s patriotism.
“When Amaechi got the letter, he spoke with Sanusi, who was still the CBN Governor, to confirm the authenticity of the letter. Sanusi confirmed to Amaechi that he wrote the letter. During their conversation, Amaechi made it abundantly clear to the then CBN Governor that the bleeding of the nation had to be stopped, all non-remitted funds remitted and that he was going to use the letter to do whatever is in the best interest of the nation and Nigerians, which was the stoppage of the non-remittance and the recovery of all the non-remitted funds from oil sale. The CBN Governor did not agree with Amaechi on the way forward.
“Considering that the letter was given to Amaechi as Chairman of the NGF, he shared the letter with his colleague governors first, and with Senator Bukola Saraki (now Senate President), who before and around that period was doing some work or/and investigation around the oil sector in the Senate.
“Around that period, a delegation from the United States government, from the offices of the Secretaries of State and Defence, visited Amaechi in Port Harcourt to discuss the problem of oil theft in Nigeria.
“From their records, they gave Amaechi figures of billions of dollars (about $7 billion dollars annually) that was being lost to oil theft in Nigeria. They were discussing the issue and figures of oil theft, and that was how the CBN Governor’s letter to President Jonathan came up.
“In the presence of journalists covering the visit, Amaechi brought out the Sanusi letter to the visiting American delegation to buttress the point that Nigeria was losing far more money to non-remittance of proceeds from oil sale into the federation account, which everyone seemed to concur, was in itself, another form and another dimension to the problem of oil theft.” [myad]