Nigeria: Reps Summon AGF, Others Over Looted Funds

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Abuja — The House of Representatives has summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwim Emefiele to appear before its joint committee on finance and public accounts with details of recovered looted funds from 1999 to date.

The House declared that all recovered loots and assets must be duly accounted for.

Chairman of the joint committee investigating the status of recovered public funds and assets from 1999 to date, Hon Kingsley Chinda, issued the summon yesterday at the commencement of the probe.

Chinda, who insisted that the officials should appear on Tuesday, lamented the absence of the invited stakeholders to the hearing.

He stressed the importance of the exercise to the economy and development of the nation.

While declaring the hearing opened, Yakubu Dogara had said that the House of Representatives would not continue to look on as confusion trails the recovery of looted funds and assets.

Dogara said, "It is common knowledge that there are a lot of conflicting reports and claims from various agencies of government concerning the status of the funds and assets recovered from some citizens and corporate entities by law enforcement agencies.

"As a parliament, we cannot fold our arms and allow the confusion trailing the whereabouts of the recovered funds and assets to continue. This is why the House of Representatives resolved to mandate this Joint Committee to investigate the issue in the interest of accountability and transparency."

The speaker added that the investigation had become necessary in order to ascertain how the recovered resources were being appropriated, saying the enquiry was in line with the duties of the National Assembly as stated in the Constitution.

"We believe that as a parliament, we owe the people of Nigeria the duty to ascertain the resources available to government and how they are being appropriated in their interest. This is in line with the exercise of our Constitutional powers in Sections 88 and 89 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 as amended."

He urged the committee to handle the matter with utmost seriousness as the matter was capable of eroding the credibility of the present administration.

"The total value of recovered funds and assets is estimated at $2trillion and the House has also mandated its Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate whether any crimes have been committed in the course of the management and disbursement of funds recovered by the federal government in the last 12 years", Dogara said.

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