The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has said that the Federal Government does not want the whistle-blower who informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the N13bn in an Ikoyi apartment to run mad.
That, according to Sagay, is why the federal government is hesitant to pay the whistle-blower his N860 million reward.
The whistleblower had in April tipped off the EFCC of funds stashed in a four-bedroom apartment on Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The anti-graft agency had discovered $43 million, £27,800 and N23 million in the flat bought in the name of the wife of Ayo Oke, the sacked director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Reacting to the alarm raised by the whistleblower’s lawyer on the delay in paying his client’s reward, Sagay said the man will “almost run mental” if the money is paid to him without proper measures.
He said, “What I gathered from my inquiry is that the man is not sufficiently stable to receive such a huge sum of money. He is like someone who will almost run mental when he gets the money and will use it in an irresponsible manner, attracting not only undesirable people but even danger to himself.
“I think what they wanted to do for him was to provide counsellors. Not just counsellors for character and mental situation but counsellors who would be like consultants that would help him to really invest the money and plan in such a way that he doesn’t throw it away in five minutes.
“They are trying to help him. Nobody is denying him anything. They are trying to help him but he just misunderstands the intention and like everyone that has been deprived for a long time, he is so desperate to have it but from what I can see, if they just give him everything, it won’t last more than a month or two because so many people will start finding ways to get to him and taking their portions from him. So, they were just trying to help him but he became hysterical.”
Sagay told The Punch that the Federal Government has decided to pay the whistle-blower in tranches, adding that such a method of payment would deter him from spending it all at once.
He added, “It is better to pay him in tranches. I agree with the government because if not, he will throw it away. This is valuable money that government could have used for millions of unemployed and wretchedly poor people.
“One man is getting it and he just wants it so that he can blow it all in five minutes? No, the government has a responsibility to see that his excitement does not end in seeing the money being thrown away irresponsibly. So, I agree with the government.”