EFCC: Magu Okays Okonjo Iweala to answer for $250m withdrawal from Abacha’s loot. The heat could be on for the former Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala on issues bothering on alleged withdrawal of the sum of $250m from the late President Sani Abacha’s recovered loot.
It has been on record that $500m was received from the immediate family of the late President from looted estimated $600m.
Had also been on record that the supposed recovered fund was released on Mr President’s order, to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) without appropriation. About $36,155,000 out of the $250 million was a cash withdrawal without appropriation in March 22nd, 9th, 16th and 18th of 2015.
In a recent report, the acting chairman of the EFCC Mr Ibrahim Magu has invited the former Minister of Finance for questioning and interrogation as regards the custody of the said $250m.
According to Magu, “she has to explain why some of the funds were diverted to extraneous matters including media services, opinion polls, and personal matters. ”
It was as well discovered that $300m was transferred to the office of the National Security Adviser, through a memo in January 12, 2015, in a revelation made by EFCC.
According to the memo, “Please refer to our meeting on recovered funds. You are please requested to remit the sum of $300m and £5.5m to the following account being ONSA share as agreed.
Sequaly, the former Minister in a memo to the ex- President Goodluck Jonathan requested for release of $300m from Abacha loot the former National Security Adviser (NSA) only $250m was however released on the pretext for purchase of ammunition, security and other intelligent equipment for the security agencies to enable them fight Book Haram, in the memo to the President she said:
“This request is sequel to the meeting you chaired with the committee on use of recovered funds where decision was made that recovered Abacha funds would be split 50-50 between urgent security needs to confront Boko Haram and development needs (including a portion for the Future Generations window of Sovereign Wealth Fund).
“This letter is to seek your approval to borrow these funds, for now, to disburse to the NSA. These funds form part of projected FG Independent Revenue to be appropriated.
“In light of this and for accountability, given the peculiar nature of security and intelligence transactions, we would expect the NSA to account to your Excellency for the utilization of the funds.”
The Minister however agreed to release the fund on the following condition: 1. Only part, not the entire Abacha fund will be spent on the arms, the rest will be invested in development projects. 2. The money was to be treated as borrowed fund, to be paid back as soon as possible. 3. The NSA is to account for the spending to the President who was the commander in chief.
According to the former Minister, the attempt to link her to any misuse of the said fund for any purpose other than security as far as she understood is totally false and cannot stand.
Raphael Orji is a Digital Marketing Expert, Seasoned and Dynamic Freelancer, with interest in Banking, Personal finance, Entrepreneurial development. A Councillor and Motivational Speaker.
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