The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Finance as well as Appropriation to commence investigation into the allegation by former Minister of Solid Minerals and Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, that $45billion in the Foreign Reserve Account and $22billion of the Excess Crude Oil Account have been mismanaged since 2007.
The committees are to conduct an investigative hearing and report back to the House, the truth or otherwise, of how the Foreign Reserve and Excess Crude Oil Accounts were managed or mismanaged as the case may be.
This was sequel to a motion moved by Hon. Umar Bature, (PDP) Sokoto State, in which he noted that the federal government had already responded to the allegation by accusing the former minister of misappropriating N458billion between 2006 and 2007.
The motion was adopted unanimously by the members and referred to the committee by the speaker, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who presided over the day's sitting.
The Federal Government, on Sunday, reacted angrily to comments by the former Minister of Education, alleging that the governments of Presidents Umar Musa Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, squandered $67 billion(about N10.6trn) in foreign reserves, describing the allegation as "outlandish and clearly fictitious."
Throwing its hat into the ring, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) issued a seven- day ultimatum to President Goodluck Jonathan to organise a public debate between the former Vice President of the World Bank, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili and the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku or any other official of the government to thrash out the issues.
In statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary Osita Okechukwu, yesterday, CNPP said that the ultimatum followed the challenge to public debate thrown by Ezekwesili.
"We challenge President Jonathan to convoke this debate within seven days or we stand on Mrs Ezekwesili's allegation to prosecute the government for unbridled and wanton looting of the national treasury. We are alarmed that instead of responding to the grave allegation made by Mrs Ezekwesili the presidency tepidly said, 'it is obviously preposterous for Mrs Oby Ezekwesili to be asking for a national debate on the outlandish and reckless disinformation she made to incite the Nigerian people against the government.