Abuja — House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate the recovered loot by the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha, since 1998.
To this end, the adhoc committee is expected to dig out all recoveries made and mode of payments, how the money was disbursed and report back within the next six weeks.
This development was sequel to a motion under matters of public importance, entitled: "Urgent Need To Stop The Federal Government From Expending The Last Tranche Of The Abacha Loot Or Any Recovered Loot At All Without Parliamentary Approval," promoted by Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi).
Recall that Eric Mayoraz, Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, had during a roundtable on assets recovery organised by the Swiss Embassy in Abuja, noted that $722 million of Abacha's family money hidden in Switzerland had been fully repatriated in 2005.
While leading the debate, Karimi said: "Transparency International estimated that about $5 billion public revenue was stashed abroad by late military ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, between 1993 and 1998 when he ruled the country."
"Recently, Attorney-General of the Federation signed an agreement on behalf of the government of the federation on the release of the last tranche of $322 million belonging to Nigeria.
"If the money is shared as is being speculated, what was the modality used because we hear only 19 states are adjudged to be poor in Nigeria."
"They can't spend Nigeria's money and spend it the way they like and nobody is above the law, the money belongs to the country and must be distributed normally and Federal Government share should be used to complete the Ajaokuta Steel Complex."
At this point, the presiding officer, Yakubu Dogara, threw the debate open to members to make their contributions.
The House at this point, resolved to step down the prayers in Karimi's motion, urging the House to direct the Presidency to pay the $322m recovered into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, pending the outcome of the adhoc committee investigative hearings.