The All Progressives Congress has accused the Federal Government of trying to suppress the audit report on the alleged missing $20bn oil money.
The party said the deadline for the release of the report, which was set by the government itself, had “come and gone”.
The allegation that the huge sum of money was missing was raised by a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.
Mr. Sanusi had earlier alleged that as much as $49 billion was diverted by the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, but following a huge outcry and reconciliation of the NNPC account, he later reviewed the amount down to $20 billion, and called for investigations after writing a memo to President Goodluck Jonathan.
A Senate probe into the allegation said no money was missing. Mr. Sanusi was later fired by President Jonathan after he was accused of “financial recklessness”.
In a statement in Ilorin, Kwara State on Saturday 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 October 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 the report should have been ready latest November 7, 2014.
The party added, “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”.
APC said it would not want to believe speculations flying around that the FG was deliberately sitting on the report because it (report) had heavily indicted the government and some powerful personalities in the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
It stated, “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?”