Just as the dust raised by the statement credited to Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole over the $6 billion dollars allegedly stolen by a former minister in the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, Another prominent Nigerian, Queen Zainab Duke-Abiola, the Akasoba of Kalabari land in the Niger Delta, has said she had evidence from the White House that a former Petroleum Minister stole $9.3 billion.
Duke Abiola, one of the wives of the late Chief MKO Abiola, in an exclusive interview with The Nation, said: “According to the information available to us, the minister stole more than $9 billion; not Australian dollars, but US dollars.”
“And what I am saying is that the money should be used to develop the Niger Delta. Use this to help the impoverished Niger Deltans,” she added.
On her ability to prove the allegation, she said she was in Washington DC during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit, and that she met with White House officials who revealed the information to her.
“My relationship with White House is over 30 years. Americans are very eager to make sure that the money gets back. They want Nigeria to use that money for education,” she said.
The former presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party also insisted that Buhari’s delegation to Washington DC was aware of the exact amount stolen by the former minister.
“Oshiomhole said it’s about $6 billion. Information available to me states that the minister and her associates siphoned away $9.3 billion. I’m watching the game that they’re playing. If they don’t publish the evidence, I have document to support this,” she said.
According to her, members of the presidential delegation were focusing on the $6 billion allegedly stolen by a minister in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet, leaving out “the remaining $3.3 billion” because some people from a section of the country are involved.
“If Buhari is not sure of his fact and figures, he should go back to Washington DC. If I read in the papers that they say $9 billion, I would keep quiet. But why are they saying only $6 billion?”
“All I want is that this money should be used to help the less privileged, especially in the Niger Delta. Give these people fishing nets. Build some bridges for them. Clean up their rivers so they can fish once more, so they can have food on their tables once more. Build cottage industries for them. Put up little clinics as much as you can. In fact, we’re talking about $9.3 billion, so build a John Hopkins hospital. Build a UCH replica in the Niger Delta. If there’s some extra money use it to help other regions,” she said.
The Akasoba said she was shocked when she received the evidence from the White House.
“Some people said that much money couldn’t have been stolen, I was one of those who didn’t believe. When they gave me the document, I was shocked. I have sent it to the appropriate Niger Delta elders. So, we know that nobody is accusing anybody wrongly,” she said.
It will be recalled that Governor Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, alleged that a minister, who served under the former President stole $6 billion, quoting US officials to support his claim but did not name the particular minister.
“The man said even by Washington standard, that is earth-quaking.
“So, PDP is a party that presided over the liquidation of our nation; destroyed all our institutions; converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs; convertedNTA to a party megaphone; destroyed the SSS; went after opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued into our holes; compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of; and elevated religion to a state affair.
“Under the party, Israel became a place you visit every week; they placed pastors against mallams, placed North against South, East against West – just to retain power; elevated Obas and Obis with dollars,” Oshiomhole said.
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