20180705

Buhari Stopped From Sharing Abacha Loot As Reps Begin Probe

The House of Reps on Wednesday resolved to investigate the roles played by the administrations Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan in the recovery of funds looted by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

The probe also covers the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who concluded the latest negotiation with the Swiss Government to return $322m Abacha loot.

The former administrations and Buhari’s regime are to explain the total funds recovered from the Abacha loot and how the money has been utilised over the years.

The House resolution reads, “Set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the total Abacha loot recovered from 1998 to date; establish the sources and how the money was utilised.

“Also, establish all agreements signed by the government to determine whether they followed due process. “

The House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, took the decision as lawmakers debated a motion to oppose a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Swiss Government and the Buhari administration on how the latter would spend the $322m.

The motion was moved by a member from Kogi State, Mr. Karimi Sunday. He reminded the House that the MoU between Nigeria and a foreign government was not binding unless approved by the National Assembly.

He also argued that it was not the responsibility of the Swiss Government to dictate to Nigeria on how to spend funds, which originally belonged to the latter.

He stated, “This money was stolen from Nigeria. It is our money. So, it is the duty of the Nigerian legislature to decide how the money will be spent by appropriation.

The position taken by the government that the money will be paid directly to the accounts of poor Nigerians, based on the MoU purported to have been signed with the Swiss Government is not acceptable.”

Sunday added that the proper thing to do was to remit the recovered funds into the Federation Account for distribution to the three tiers of government.