The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the PDP-led Federal Government of trying to suppress the audit report on the missing $20 billion oil money, saying the deadline for the release of the report, which was set by the government itself, has come and gone.
In a statement, Saturday, in Ilorin by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala herself had said, at the Financial Times Africa Summit 2014 in London in October, that the report would be ready in November 2014.
It quoted the Minister as saying at the Forum on Oct. 6, 2014: ”We engaged PwC (PriceWaterHouseCoopers) with the Auditor General of the Federation taking the lead. They asked for 16 weeks to complete the work; they have spent 11 or 12 weeks so far and they will be done in a couple of weeks.”
APC said adding the remaining four weeks for the conclusion of the report, as requested by the auditors, meant that it should have been ready by latest Nov. 7th 2014.
”It is now over a month since the deadline for the release of the report expired, and the government has simply kept mum on the report, apparently in an effort to sweep the issue under the carpet, as it has done with all other reports of widespread corruption under the present dispensation.
”However, Nigerians will not allow this to happen. They will continue to demand that the audit report be made public, in the interest of transparency. We also believe that the Minister of Finance should strive to protect whatever is left of her international reputation by living up to her words that the issue will not be swept under the carpet. It is not only Nigerians but the entire international community who are interested in the outcome of the audit.
”If there is any reason why the report has not been released, the Minister should immediately come out and tell Nigerians. Otherwise, she should release the report today so that Nigerians will know exactly how much of their oil funds is missing and those to be held responsible for the unprecedented heist,” the party said.
APC said it refuses to believe the stories making the rounds to the effect that the FG is deliberately sitting on the report because it (report) has heavily indicted it and some powerful personalities in the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
”In announcing the forensic audit of the unaccounted for money, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said the President supported it and asked for it to be done. Now that it has been done, why has the report not been released, even if it implicates the government itself?” the party queried.