Why Okonjo-Iweala must be probed over Abacha loot Diversion- Femi Falana

Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to look into the alleged diversion of $500m loot recovered from the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.
Falana’s petition, dated December 18, was addressed to the Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
The lawyer asked the EFCC boss to investigate and confirm the exact amount recovered from the Abacha loot by the Federal Government
He also asked the anti-graft commission to probe the amount allegedly diverted by former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
Falana’s petition read in part: “Efforts of the (Goodluck Jonathan) administration had led to ‘the recovery of $226.3m from Liechtenstein, in addition to the 7.5m Euros that was recovered from an associated company of the Abacha’s in Liechtenstein in 2011.
It will also be recalled that in 2011, the Federal Government was able to recover and repatriate through negotiated settlement with the Jersey 22.5m pounds confiscated from an associate of the Abacha family by the Island of Jersey.”
“But in a desperate bid to cover up the gross mismanagement and criminal diversion of the Abacha loot, former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had repeatedly maintained that only $500m had been recovered by the Federal Government.
“To lend credence to the fraudulent claim, the World Bank confirmed in a reply to an enquiry by SERAP that the $500m recovered from the loot had been judiciously spent on some phantom development projects in several parts of the country.
“But following the recent revelation by the Premium Times that a substantial part of the loot had been criminally diverted, Okonjo-Iweala has admitted that she transferred $322m from the Abacha loot to former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to prosecute the war on terror. Apart from the said £322m, Okonjo-Iweala also released £5.5m to Dasuki.
“Okonjo-Iweala’s excuse that the said $322m was released due to the urgency of the crisis in the North-East region is untenable having regards to the fact that former President Jonathan had sought the approval of the National Assembly to take a loan of $1bn to equip the armed forces to fight insurgency.
“Therefore, the self-induced urgency created by Okonjo-Iweala is not a justification for spending public funds without appropriation. It may interest you to know that $500m allegedly spent on development projects was also not appropriated by the National Assembly.
“In view of the ongoing, we hereby request you to use your good offices to confirm the actual amount recovered from the Abacha loot by the Federal Government and the extent of the criminal diversion of the said loot by Okonjo-Iweala, Dasuki and other suspects. Unless the Abacha loot is fully accounted for, the Buhari administration will find it difficult to receive the cooperation of many governments in the ongoing efforts to recover the stolen wealth of the country.”

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