House Demands Record of Withdrawals from Recovered Loots Account
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on assessment and status of all recovered loots has directed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to furnish it with a summary of all transactions made from the recovered loot accounts since 2002.
The Committee also invited the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it on June 3, 2021 to properly reconcile all recovery accounts.
This was as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told the lawmakers she had no information concerning the recovered £4.2 Ibori-linked loot from the United Kingdom.
The Committee chaired by Hon. Adejoro Adeogun, made the demand while
grilling the AGF and the minister on the illegal withdrawals made from the recovered loot accounts, particularly the sum of N19 billion, which was withdrawn from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovery account, at its resumed sitting, Thursday evening.
In his response, Idris, while listing several recovery accounts, including that of the EFCC, justified the withdrawals.
The AGF argued that they were all linked by the Treasury Single Account, hence technically an extension of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
He added that the withdrawals from the accounts were made with the appropriate approvals.
However, members of the committee disagreed with his position, saying that such transactions were illegal, as they were not appropriated for.
The lawmakers argued that no approval from any authority could supersede the constitution of the country, pointing out that all the withdrawals from the recovery accounts could not be traced in any Appropriation Act, and the National Assembly was not aware of them.
They insisted that any withdrawal must be from the CRF and must be backed by law, adding that the AGF should be held responsible for possible violation of the constitution and extant financial regulations.
On her part, the Finance Minister, Ahmed, while agreeing with the House members said it was wrong to take money from any other government account that was not the CRF.
She said any money taken from the account must be appropriated for by the National Assembly.