The Prosecutor, Special Presidential Panel on Asset Recovery (SPPAR),
Tosin Ojaomo, yesterday, made stunning revelations of how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allegedly stashed $60 billion of public funds in the United States.
He lamented that efforts by the panel to recover the funds were reportedly frustrated by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, whom he claimed retrieved the case file from the body, Punch reports.
Ojaomo, who appeared before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Probe of Recovered Looted Funds and Assets of Government, said the panel discovered N2.2 billion in different private bank accounts, operated by an official of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) besides a multi-million naira hotel in Enugu State belonging to him.
Tendering over 20 documents to back his claims, the prosecutor pointed out that most of the cases prosecuted by the presidential panel were unsuccessful because the “minister requested for the case files and never returned them.”
According to him, “the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) at a point withdrew N10 billion in two tranches from the coffers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) with the AGF, again, frustrating investigation by sitting on the case files.”
The amazed committee members later resolved to invite the minister to re-enter appearance and defend himself of the weighty allegations.
Also summoned for further investigation is the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, who is to shed more light on the missing €5 billion from the recovered assets of the Federal Government.
Others to enter appearance tomorrow for an interface with the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, include Director General of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, who had said the nation was yet to access its $311million from U.S., £4.2 million from the UK and €5.5 from the government of Ireland.
ICPC boss, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who equally made appearance yesterday, revealed that the commission has N2.1 billion of recovered looted funds in its care.
His failure to back up his presentation with relevant documents, including bank transactions, necessitated the lawmakers asking him to re-appear with concrete evidence in their next meeting.