Reps panel to question Obasanjo, Jonathan, others over Abacha loot

Reps panel to question Obasanjo, Jonathan, others over Abacha loot

- The House of Representatives has begun a fresh probe into the recovery of Abacha's loot by former presidents

- The lawmakers have constituted an 11-man panel for the investigation and questioning of the former presidents

- The panel led by Abdulmumin Jibrin will visit former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan in their homes for questioning

The members of the House of Representatives are set to question former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, over recoveries of money stolen by a former military head of state, Sani Abacha.

Punch reports that an 11-man panel of the House slated to begin work on Monday, July 16, has been constituted to investigate the recoveries. It was gathered that the panel would be chaired by a former chairman of the House committee on appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Jibrin alongside other members is expected to visit the former presidents in their various homes for inquires into the roles in the recovery of the looted funds.

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This visit - different from the National Assembly's usual summoning of individual - is aimed at according the former leaders their due respect.

However, the House committee will summon the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun; the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami; the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; and a former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Others to be summoned are a former AGF, ministers of finance and CBN governors who served during the tenure of the late president Umar Yar’Adua.

Also speaking, the chairman, House committee on media and public affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, said the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, set up the panel to conduct the investigation. He said the investigation would for once bring the speculation about the Abacha loot to rest.

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Namadas said: “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? In the course of the recovery, several cases were filed in court. How much exactly was spent on those cases and so on?

To accomplish this task, the committee will speak with former Presidents. We will go to their residences to interact with them and not necessarily to summon them to the National Assembly.

All relevant officials of government during the period covered by the probe will be invited to get an accurate update on loot recovery," Namadas said.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the Nigerian government had concluded negotiation with Switzerland on the return of $321 million recovered from the late Abacha family.

The conclusion of the negotiation followed a recent recovery of eighty-five million US dollars from the controversial Malabu Restrained Funds from United Kingdom.

The AGF said with the conclusion of negotiation, the memorandum of understanding will be signed by parties at the Global Forum on Assets Recovery meeting coming up on December in Washington and that the repatriation would follow within weeks as agreed by the parties.

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