Reps move to probe all recovered Abacha loot from 1998 till date •Oppose planned sharing to poor families

Posted by News Express | 4 July 2018 | 1,656 times

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•House of Representatives during plenary

The house of representatives has resolved to probe the funds recovered from Sani Abacha, former military head of state, from 1998 till date.

The lawmakers are also seeking to investigate how the funds have so far been used, including the charges paid to lawyers and consultants.

The resolution followed a motion introduced during plenary on Wednesday by Sunday Karimi from Kogi state.

Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, had recently signed an agreement on behalf of the federal government with Switzerland for the release of $322 million said to have been stolen by Abacha.

This is just one of the previous recoveries made by both current and past administrations of the said loot, usually through signed treaties.

The lawmakers have further opposed the Federal Government’s decision to share the recovered $322 million Abacha loot to poor families in the country.

The lawmakers are saying that the Federal Government cannot spend the money without the parliament’s approval.

The Federal Government had in June disclosed that it will disburse the recovered money to 302 poor households in 19 states, starting from July.

According to the F.G, it will be part of the government’s Social Investment Programmes which aims to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

But the lawmakers are asking the FG how much is the total Abacha loot recovered so far?

During plenary on Wednesday, they questioned the motive behind the FG’s decision and how the government plans to determine which families are the poorest.

However, the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, Juliet Nwagwu, explained that the money will be paid in installment to the poor households in order to avoid logistic orders.

She said, “Nobody is going to give anybody any cash; it is going to be through an electronic payment system which we want CSOs (civil society organisations) to verify,”.

The lawmakers are, therefore, suggesting that the money should be paid into the consolidated revenue fund and distributed to federating units in line with the current revenue sharing formula.

(Vanguard/Channels TV)

Source: News Express

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