The former minister of finance, Dr. Nogozi Okonjo-Iweala, allegedly approved the transfer of at least N61.4b ($300 million and £5.5 million) from funds recovered from the late head of state, Sani Abacha, to the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, few weeks to the 2015 presidential election, Premium Times reports.
According to reports, the former minister illegally signed off on the transfer but then closed her eyes to how the funds were spent, requesting former President Goodluck Jonathan to demand accountability from the former NSA.
The funds were never appropriated before they were transferred, which is a clear violation of Nigeria’s fiscal responsibility law.
Dasuki, alongside the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and founder of DAAR communications, Raymond Dokpesi, are being investigated for their roles in the disbursement of $2.1 billion and N643 billion meant for the procurement of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgents.
The recovered Abacha loot are funds returned to the Nigerian government from monies stolen from the country’s treasury by the late dictator
The late head of state stole an estimated $5 billion from Nigeria and the money is being returned after agreement with countries such as Switzerland and the United States. So far $700 million has been repatriated from Switzerland.
However it is not clear if these funds in question were part of the arms procurement funds for which Dasuki is being investigated.
In a letter signed by Okonjo-Iweala, sighted by Premium Times, showed that 50 per cent of the recently recovered Abacha loot was allotted for “urgent security need” such as the procurement of arms and ammunition while the other half was set aside to be used for development purposes.
The letter which was addressed to former President Jonathan, dated January 20, 2015, revealed that the money was transferred following a request by the office of the NSA under Dasuki for funds for the procurement of arms and ammunition as well as intelligence equipment dated on January 12, 2015.
In the letter she added that the letter was to seek Jonathan’s approval for the funds to be disbursed to the NSA. The former minister further explained that the money being transferred formed part of the Federal Government Independent Revenue.
However, instead of insisting on overseeing how the disbursed funds were spent, as the country’s chief financial officer, she abdicated her responsibility, expecting and asked Dasuki to account directly to Jonathan.
Jonathan in a letter dated January 30, 2015 approved the transfer
Okonjo-Iweala, was recently indicted in a fresh N3.2billion fraud scandal. This allegation was made by the Borno state government, who asked her to account for the N3.2 billion realised in support of the “Safe School Initiative” under the previous administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan’s approval of $10 million (N1.6 billion) in support of the programme in addition to the $10 million contributed by the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown to save schools in Nigeria’s northeast which has been ravaged by Boko Haram insurgencies, brings the approved amount to N3.2billion.