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Unmasked whistleblower gets apology

A whistleblower whose identity was disclosed to a private equity firm he accused of corruption has been offered an unreserved apology by UK aid chiefs.

British-born Nigerian campaigner Dotun Oloko, who lives in Brighton, provided the Department for International Development (DFID) with information concerning the misuse of aid cash in 2009.

But despite securing guarantees that the source of the complaints would not be revealed, documents that allowed his real name to be identified were passed on to the firm by officials.

As a result he was targeted by private investigators employed by the firm and told BBC2's Newsnight that he feared "retribution" if he returned to Nigeria.

A review has been launched by International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell in a bid to prevent a repeat.

Mr Mitchell said: "This happened under the last government but it is vital that whistleblowers should be able to report their concerns with impunity.

"In this case it has come to light that in 2009, while investigating this individual's claims, DFID inadvertently sent on an electronic document without being aware that the individual's name could be found in that document's electronic 'properties'."

The document was first sent on to government-owned development fund CDC which then forwarded it to the firm concerned for comment.

"While I am confident DFID acted in good faith to protect his identity, this should not have happened. We apologise unreservedly and are very sorry for any distress caused," he said. "The coalition Government has a zero tolerance approach to corruption and places the highest priority on efforts to tackle it.

"I have immediately ordered a review of departmental processes to learn the lessons of this case and ensure that whistleblowers who wish to remain anonymous will always be afforded the protection they deserve."


From Belfast Telegraph