Reps to question Obasanjo, Jonathan, Adeosun, over Abacha loot

A panel of the House of Representatives will question former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan over the recovery of money stolen by a former military Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha.

An 11-member panel of the House will begin work this week.

The panel is chaired by a former Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin.

While the two former leaders will be interviewed in their homes, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami are to appear at the National Assembly.

Others are Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele; a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former AGF, ministers of finance and CBN governors who served during the tenure of the late President Umar Yar’Adua.

On July 4, the House passed a resolution to probe the Abacha loot after President Muhammadu Buhari said the $322m loot recently negotiated with the Swiss Government would be shared out to the poor and the vulnerable.

The House, following a motion moved by a member from Kogi State, Mr Sunday Karimi, resolved to “set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the total Abacha loot recovered from 1998 till date; establish the sources and how the money was utilised.”

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Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, confirmed the panel’s work.

He explained that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, set up the commitee “so that we can for once, bring all the speculation about the Abacha loot to rest.”

Namdas told Punch: “The House wants to look into this Abacha loot issue thoroughly and lay the matter to rest. The mandate of the committee is to establish how much was recovered as Abacha loot.

“We have been hearing of loot recovery; how much is the total recovered by all the administrations since 1998?

“Also, what were the sources of the recovery? Was any part or all of the loot spent? What was it spent on and what is the total balance?” he added.

The Nigerian government, last week, explained that the loot would be disbursed to beneficiaries of the direct cash transfer programme.

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