EFCC Invites Okonjo-Iweala Over $500m Abacha Loot
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala over the alleged disposition of $500m of the recovered Abacha loot.
The anti-graft agency, in a letter approved by the acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, summoned Okonjo-Iweala to come and shed light on how over $250m was withdrawn.
The withdrawal is alleged to have been made without following due process and released to the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Sambo Dasuki, the then NSA, had requested for $300 million but $250 million was approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former Minister of Finance had handled the correspondence between the NSA and the former President.
Okonjo-Iweala, via a memo to Jonathan, was alleged to have requested for the release of $300 million to Dasuki.
The memo said: “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.”
The money, according to the memo, was to be used for the acquisition of arms and other equipment as the country continues its counter-insurgency operations against the Boko Haram.
It 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.”
Jonathan in hs reply dated January 29, 2015 memo, said, “CME/HMF, approved”.
Okonjo-Iweala is expected to explain why N13 billion was withdrawn in cash out of $250 million released.
The former minister would also be asked to assist the EFCC on what became of the remaining $250 million.