NPA welcomes House of Reps probe of alleged secret account

Hadiza Bala Usman NPA MD

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has welcomed the resolution of the House of Representatives to investigate an alleged secret account operated by the NPA with Unity Bank Plc.

The lower chambers had resolved during plenary on Thursday to investigate the alleged secret account which a whistleblower claimed contained over $1 billion.

While awaiting communications from the House committees on finance, and ports and harbours on the proposed investigations, the authority had restated its position in a statement earlier in the week that the Unity Bank account number: 0013680344, cited by the whistleblower, John Okpurhe, does not exist as evidenced by a February 12, 2020 letter from the bank.

The NPA said it operates an account with Unity Bank Plc with account number: 0013670344 with a total sum of $1,057,772.03 as of December 4, 2019 and not $1,034,515,000.00 as alleged by the petitioner.

It also said: “The NPA account has not been in operation since August 27, 2010 due to a Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 Garnishee Order Nisi In Aminu Ibrahim & Co & Anor. Vs. Nigerian Ports Authority where a garnishee order was placed on it following a case, which went from the Federal High Court to the Supreme Court over a period of eight years. 

“Upon the determination of the case at the Supreme Court, the judgment creditors continued with the Garnishee process which resulted in the credit of the amount $1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, Three Cents) in favour of Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 Garnishee Order Nisi- Aminu Ibrahim & Co & Anor. Vs. Nigerian Ports Authority on December 4th 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order absolute.

“It is therefore obvious that there is no cloned account as speculated in the alleged whistle blowing effort of Mr. Okpurhe. 

“The account under discussion was frozen on the strength of a court order in August 2010, following the completion of the case; the money was consequently transferred to the judgment creditor on December 4, 2019, in line with the Garnishee Order Absolute.”